MELBOURNE: Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete at the Australian Open as neutrals while Novak Djokovic would also be welcome to play if he can obtain a visa, tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday. Tennis authorities banned Russian and Belarusian players from international team competitions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year but allowed them to compete at regular tour events. The French Open and U.S. Open Grand Slams allowed them to compete as neutrals, though Wimbledon imposed an outright ban. “At this point, Russian and Belarusian players will be eligible to play in the Australian Open,” Tiley told reporters. “The only difference will be that they cannot represent Russia — cannot represent the flag of Russia.”Tiley said nine-times Australian Open champion Djokovic would also be eligible if he is able to overturn a visa ban as part of his deportation in January. The Serbian great was kicked out of the country for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and is barred from re-entering until 2025, though the Australian government can waive the ban at its discretion.