Chances of Novak Djokovic's Participation in Australian Open Rise After Vaccine Exemption Hints

© REUTERS / CHARLES PLATIAUAustria's Dominic Thiem
Austria's Dominic Thiem - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic's participation in the Australian Open has been in doubt for the last couple of months after the Victorian government made COVID-19 jabs mandatory for participating players in the tournament. The Serb, who's yet to reveal his vaccination status, however, could still be seen defending his crown in Melbourne.
Australian Open director Craig Tiley has hinted that 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic may get a medical exemption to feature in the prestigious tournament at Melbourne Park.
According to the state of Victoria's rules, all participants, including players, support staff, officials, and spectators must be fully vaccinated to have any kind of presence in the Australian Open.
Speaking to Australian daily The Age, Tiley disclosed that a very "small percentage" of tennis stars would be medically exempt from COVID-19 vaccine requirements at the Grand Slam of the Asia Pacific.
While he didn't have any definitive answer whether Djokovic would be among those players who would have a medical exemption, Tiley was confident about the 9-time Australian Open winner's participation in the competition.

"If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he'll either be vaccinated or he'll have a medical exemption", Tiley said.

The Aussie Open chief also confirmed that he was in absolute agreement with Djokovic that a player should not be forced to make his medical condition public.

"[It's] his choice on his medical condition, it's his choice to keep personal and private like all of us would do with any condition we may or may not have", he added.

"We are not going to force him or ask him to disclose that", Tiley concluded.
The major tournament begins on 17 January in Melbourne.
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