The Australian Open main draw gets underway in Melbourne today, running for the next two weeks.

Today, Daryl Adair, Associate Professor of Sport Management from the University of Technology Sydney, takes a look back at 2022 - one of the most politically tumultuous years in tennis.

It started with the Novak Djokovic saga in January. Unvaccinated against COVID, he sought a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open on the basis of having recently contracted the virus, which was supposedly granted. But upon his arrival to Melbourne, Djokovic was detained for eight hours, sent to an immigration hotel for four nights, released, and then later deported.

Then, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February caused much division in the tennis world, as it did for many sports. Wimbledon organisers decreed that no Russian or Belarusian players could play at the tournament, enraging many players and fans, who viewed it as athletes being punished for Putin’s war. Other grand slams subsequently let such athletes compete as neutrals.

Fans might be hoping this year brings a pause to the overwhelming political tension that’s characterised the last 12 months in tennis and life.

Liam Petterson

Deputy Politics Editor

The 2023 Australian Open pauses a year of profound political tensions in tennis

Daryl Adair, University of Technology Sydney

The COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine combined to make 2022 one of the most controversial years in tennis.

How might the latest George Pell coverage affect child sexual abuse survivors?

Kim Felmingham, The University of Melbourne

News of George Pell’s death may generate a roller coaster of complex and variable emotions among abuse survivors.

Ukraine war: the bloody battle for Soledar and what it tells us about the future of the conflict

Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham

Russia appears to have refocused on the land war with the aim of taking more territory.

‘Something that happens in fiction’: romance writer Susan Meachen’s fake death reminds us ‘the author’ is a construct

Ika Willis, University of Wollongong

A romance writer’s bizarre fake death has gone viral. That her being alive stayed undetected for 2.5 years reminds us that our online and published personas are still separate from real life.

The A$30 billion Sun Cable crash is a setback but doesn’t spell the end of Australia’s renewable energy export dreams

Bruce Mountain, Victoria University

While this prominent and well funded project has gone into voluntary administration, those enthused about rapid decarbonisation and Australia’s renewable energy export potential need not despair.

Thinking about cosmetic surgery? At last, some clarity on who can call themselves a surgeon

Christopher Rudge, University of Sydney; Cameron Stewart, University of Sydney

State and territory health ministers have decided to restrict the title ‘surgeon’ to specially trained doctors. It’s a significant change for consumers and doctors.

2022 wasn’t the year of Cleopatra – so why was she the most viewed page on Wikipedia?

Taha Yasseri, University College Dublin

Small design decisions by big tech companies can play a role in directing our attention.

Like Prince Harry a quarter of British people have consulted a psychic – here’s the science on why

Ken Drinkwater, Manchester Metropolitan University; Neil Dagnall, Manchester Metropolitan University

How Prince Harry using a psychic to contact his dead mother, Princess Diana, isn’t that unusual.

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