Novak Djokovic granted medical exemption to join Australian Open
Tennis star Novak Djokovic is heading to Australia, and says he will play in the 2022 Australian Open.
The world number one says he has been given “exemption permission” to compete at Melbourne Park.
The nine-time Australian Open champion had repeatedly refused to disclose his vaccination status after the Victorian government mandated the jab for players, staff and spectators.
Tennis Australia confirmed the exemption in a statement.
Australian Open tournament Director and Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley says the exemption was part of an independent medical process.
“Fair and independent protocols were established for assessing medical exemption applications that will enable us to ensure Australian Open 2022 is safe and enjoyable for everyone,” he said.
“Central to this process was that the decisions were made by independent medical experts and that every applicant was given due consideration.”
Luke Grant spoke to Sports Reporter from the Age newspaper in Melbourne, Scott Spits, who says the announcement came as a surprise to many.
He’s told Luke Grant the story broke after an Instagram post, before being confirmed by Tennis Australia.
“It’s guaranteed he’s going to get a really divisive reaction,” he said.
“Djokovic as a character is very much divisive.
“He’s an outstanding player, he’s achieved a lot and none of that should be forgotten but he hasn’t quite attracted the same love as some of the other players.”
Click play below to listen to the full interview.