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Tennis ace Novak Djokovic has been cleared to play in the Australian Open.

The opening Grand Slam of the year is set to start on 17 January. Organisers required all participants to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or receive the exemption. The exemption is assessed by an independent panel of experts.

Djokovic, who won the tournament last year, caused major speculation after he refused to confirm whether he has been vaccinated. He kept quiet until a post on social media revealed that he will definitely be travelling to Australia to defend his title.

In his post on Instagram, the Serb said “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!”.

Craig Tiley, tournament director of the Australian Open, last week confirmed that a number of players had been granted exemptions. He refused to name the players although he revealed that the two medical panels that assess applications do so in a blind way as they don’t know who the applicant is.

He also said that the reason for granting the exemption isn’t made public.

“Against the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation guidelines, an exemption gets granted or not. The reason for granting that exemption remains private, between the panel and the applicant.”

Image credit: ATP Tour

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