Australia to overturn Djokovic visa ban, paving way for Australian Open return
Johanna Konta gets a hug from her mother after the Women’s final of the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Peter Czibor/Getty Images)
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BELGRADE, Serbia — Even as she lay dying on a Serbian hospital bed, Svetlana Kuznetsova told her shocked mother not to get too worried.
Instead, just keep telling her she is OK and keep telling her she will beat her next opponent.
That’s advice Kuznetsova would give her mother in the days afterward.
Kuznetsova died when Serbian doctors discovered she had a brain tumor near her left temple.
But as she lay dying, she was given the gift of the most important advice a mother can give.
Just as Kuznetsova’s eyes opened briefly and she took a few breaths, her mother told her: “It’s me. It just means that everything is going to be better.”
“That’s what really hit me, that I could not lose,” Kuznetsova’s mother, Vera Kuznetsova, told CNN on Thursday. “I can’t lose.”
At least 17 of the 24 women seeded in the Australian Open’s singles draw won’t be competing in the tournament because their visas had been suspended due to the diplomatic dispute between the United States and Australia.
Only 11 women would like to be in the draw, with 10 of them being seeded or qualifying.
The tennis tournament on the other hand could see a major upset.
But that was exactly what happened Thursday.
The International Tennis Federation, which governs the Grand Slams, voted 11-2 to overturn the cancellation of visas issued to eight players. But the three-day ban on those visas will take place after the tournament if