Novak Djokovic given 'exemption permission' to play at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic has confirmed he has received ‘exemption permission’ to play at the Australian Open this month.

The world No.1’s participation at the tournament, which begins on January 17, has been in doubt after he refused to confirm whether he had received a vaccination against coronavirus.

Australian Open organisers have declared that all players must be vaccinated, or have a medical exemption in order to participate.

And Djokovic, who has won the Australian Open nine times in his career, has now announced that he has been given medical clearance to compete at Melbourne Park later this month.

A post by Djokovic on his Instagram account read: ‘Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you all health, love, and happiness in every present moment and may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet.

‘I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022!!’

Tournament director Craig Tiley said last month: ‘Everyone who is coming in is vaccinated and there will be a small percentage – a very small percentage – that will have a medical exemption.

‘So, if any player, fan (or) workforce is on site here, you’re either vaccinated or you have a medical exemption that’s approved and you’re on the Australian Immunisation Register. That provides us with safety and an extra level of comfort on site.

‘If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he’ll either be vaccinated or he’ll have a medical exemption. (It’s) his choice on his medical condition, it’s his choice to keep (it) personal and private like all of us would do with any condition we may or may not have.

‘We are not going to force him or ask him to disclose that.’

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