World number one Novak Djokovic says he will defend his Australian Open title at Melbourne Park this month after receiving a medical exemption from getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This has angered many in Australia, but also given hope to many who refuse to reveal their vaccination status.
Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has said that the blind application process for vaccination exemptions meant defending champion Novak Djokovic wasn’t given special treatment.
The Victorian government released a statement on Tuesday night saying that it had worked closely with Tennis Australia on setting up an “independent and rigorous process to assess requests for medical exemptions at the Australian Open”.
Out of the 26 anonymous exemption applications made by players or their support staff, only a “handful” were granted.