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Novak Djokovic gets medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccine, will defend Australian Open title

Tennis ATP Cup Djokovic Withdraws
Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 19:35:24-05

World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic will attempt to defend his Australian Open title this month.

The Serbian said on social media that he received a medical exemption that allows him to play in the tournament despite not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission," Djokovic said on Instagram.

The Australian Open is requiring players to be fully vaccinated against the virus this year or receive a medical exemption that was granted from an independent panel.

Djokovic had previously refused to discuss his vaccination status, saying it was a personal matter.

The Australian Open has been Djokovic's most successful grand slam tournament. He has been crowned champion nine times.

Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will be going for a record-setting 21st grand slam title in Melbourne. They are currently tied with Roger Federer with 20 grand slam titles apiece.

The Australian Open begins Jan. 17.