Australian Open: Novak Djokovic given medical exemption

Novak Djokovic received medical exemption for Australian Open

World No 1 Novak Djokovic revealed he has secured medical exemption and will be competing in the Australian Open.

The season’s first major begins in Melbourne on January 17.

“I’ve spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission,” Djokovic tweeted on Tuesday. “Let’s go 2022!”

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It brings an end to intense speculation over Djokovic’s Australian Open participation. The Serb had refused to confirm whether he had been inoculated.

Meanwhile, all participants at the Australian Open need to be vaccinated against or have a medical exemption, assessed by an independent panel of experts.

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Defending champion Djokovic, who will be aiming for his 10th title in Melbourne, was given medical exemption. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley had said last month that only a ‘small percentage’ of players could be allowed to compete via exemptions.

Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are also bidding to become the first men’s player to win 21 singles majors. The two of them, along with Roger Federer, are currently tied on 20.

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Having skipped the ATP Cup, Djokovic may have to enter the major without much match practice under his belt.