Djokovic will defend Australian Open title after exemption from vaccination
Novak Djokovic ended speculation over his Australian Open title defence by announcing on Tuesday that he would compete at the season’s opening Grand Slam event after receiving a medical exemption from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
World number one, who had declined to reveal his vaccination status, said previously that he was unsure whether he would compete at the January 17-30 tournament in Melbourne due to concerns over Australia’s quarantine rules.
“I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with exemption permission. Let’s go 2022,” the Serbian said on Instagram.
Organisers of the Australian Open had stipulated that all participants must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or have a medical exemption granted by an independent panel of experts.
Tennis Australia said last month the panel would consist of doctors from the fields of immunology, infectious disease, and general practice and that the move was agreed in conjunction with the Victoria Department of Health.
Applicants that pass an initial stage will be subject to a second review conducted by a government-appointed panel before the application is submitted to the Australian Immunisation Register.