Decision Pending On Djokovic's Entrance For Australian Open
AO Chief drops major twist
Head of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley says a small percentage of unvaccinated tennis players and professionals will be permitted into the Melbourne Park event due to medical exemptions.
Last month, Tiley announced that only vaccinated players will be allowed to compete in the Melbourne tournament, coinciding with Victoria's laws which allow more freedoms for fully vaccinated residents than those who aren't.
While there is still no word on the availability of nine-time winner Novak Djokovic, the father of the Serbian megastar has dropped a small hint.
Speaking on Serbian TV, Srdjan Djokovic hinted that his son is not yet vaccinated, and will likely rely on a medical exemption to travel to Australia.
"They have to decide whether they will let Novak in," he said.
"If they decide [against letting him in], they have to stand behind their decision.
"He has won the Australian Open nine times, he now wants to play - but they have to permit him to play."
When asked if Tiley knew of Djokovic's vaccination status, he said "we are not going to force him or ask him to disclose that".
"If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he'll either be vaccinated or he'll have a medical exemption. [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."
Djokovic is currently level with both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 career Grand Slam titles, however Federer is unlikely to play at the Melbourne Park event due to injury.
Nadal had just returned to playing major events from injury, before becoming infectious with COVID-19 earlier this week. Aus Open organisers are 'confident' he will be available and fit for the event start on January 17.
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