Novak Djokovic will have the opportunity to defend his Australian Open title after gaining a doctor's prescription to go to Melbourne, putting an end to months of speculation regarding his participation due to the tournament's strict COVID-19 vaccine rules.
On Tuesday, Djokovic, the world number one, posted on Instagram that he has "exemption authorization."
Djokovic, who is vying for a record 21st Grand Slam singles title, has remained tight-lipped about whether he is coronavirus-vaccinated. Unless there is a legitimate basis for an exemption, the Victoria state government has demanded that all players, staff, and fans attending the Australian Open be fully vaccinated.
"After a rigorous evaluation procedure including two separate independent panels of medical experts, Djokovic was given a medical exemption," the statement read. "One of them was the Victorian Department of Health's Independent Medical Exemption Review Panel. All applications were evaluated to see if they adhered to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization's criteria."
Tennis Australia said the process included the redaction of personal information to ensure privacy for all applicants. That means Djokovic was not obliged to make his exemption public.
4 Jan 2022