‘Exemption permission’: Novak Djokovic to play in Australian Open

By Scott Spits
Updated January 4, 2022 — 9.30pmfirst published at 9.25pm

Novak Djokovic has broken his silence and revealed he’s bound for Australia to compete in the Australian Open.

The Serbian world No.1 said on social media that he had received an “exemption permission”.

The nine-time champion has kept his cards close to his chest in recent weeks.

A vaccine mandate is in place at Australian tournaments this summer, including the Australian Open, starting at Melbourne Park on January 17.

While compulsory vaccination has previously applied to staff and spectators at other tournaments, the various events in Australia are the first time ATP and WTA players have been subject to the rules.

Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley revealed at the weekend that a handful of unvaccinated players had been granted exemptions – but only after a process he said was more rigorous than for other visitors to Australia.

Tiley reiterated that any exemption applications made by players were subject to scrutiny from more than one group of medical professionals.

“There are two medical panels that assess any application, and they assess it in a blind way. They don’t know who the applicant is,” Tiley said.

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