Novak Djokovic confirms Australian Open entry after being given ‘exemption permission’

Novak Djokovic celebrates Serbia's WC qualification

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Novak Djokovic is on his way to Australia for the first Grand Slam of 2022 after confirming that he received an “exemption permission” to travel. The world No 1 had been silent over the festive period on whether he would compete at the Australian Open this month.

Late last month, players began arriving in Australia to prepare for the first major of the season.

Djokovic was nowhere to be seen, adding to speculation that he may not travel at all having refused to confirm whether he had received a vaccination against the coronavirus.

But the 20-time Grand Slam champion has now confirmed that he will compete at the Australian Open in little under two weeks.

Posting a photo of himself at an airport on Instagram, Djokovic wrote: “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!!”

Back in November, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley made it “clear” that all players competing in the major would need to be vaccinated.

But just a month later, Tiley appeared to have a change of heart when he admitted that some players would be given an exemption.

He said: “Against the guidelines, an exemption gets granted or not. The reason for granting the exemption remains private, between the panel and the applicant.

“We know of athletes that have applied for an exemption and in cases, it’s been granted.

“Some of those (players) have indicated that they’re here, but that’s up to the athlete, to disclose and [decide] whether they want to share that information.”

Tiley also reiterated Djokovic’s choice to keep his medical history private on whether or not he’s been vaccinated.

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