Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic receives COVID-19 vaccine exemption, will participate in tournament

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Novak Djokovic is not vaccinated against COVID-19, but he is going to play in the Australian Open. The tennis star announced on Tuesday that he successfully received a medical exemption that will allow him to defend his Australian Open title. This comes after Australian Open organizers announced in November that all competitors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a medical exemption.

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

The Victorian government released a statement regarding the tournament’s exemption policy and said that it has a “two-stage independent process” in order to verify if any player has “a genuine medical condition that meets the criteria for an exemption.” Clearly, they decided that Djokovic does.

No more information about the condition Djokovic has that led to his exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine will be released because “the personal information of any applicant is redacted to ensure the independence of the process.”

Djokovic is taking aim at his 21st Grand Slam title and is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles in men’s history. Nadal will be participating in the Australian Open after recently testing positive for COVID-19. Federer won’t be taking part in the event as he is recovering from knee surgery.

After drama surrounding whether Djokovic would even be allowed to play in the tournament, he now has the opportunity to make history at the Australian Open — an event that he has won on nine different occasions. He’ll try to win it for the tenth time when the action begins on Jan. 17.

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