Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Australian Open chief outlines the two ways Novak Djokovic will feature at Australian Open

Craig Tiley has revealed Novak Djokovic will “either be vaccinated or have a medical exemption” if he wants to feature at the Australian Open.

20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic’s involvement at the upcoming Australian Open has been uncertain for a number of months.

In order for players to compete at the first Grand Slam of the season, they will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, something Djokovic has not yet revealed to the public.

The decision has proved to be divisive, with Novak’s father Srdjan blasting the move as “blackmail,” with others saying “it is about personal responsibility to the welcoming community.”

Despite not publicly declaring his vaccination status, World number one Djokovic was entered onto both the Australian Open entry list and Serbia’s ATP Cup team.

Although, Tennis Australia chief executive Tiley reiterated that “everyone goes on the entry list, it’s not a commitment list.”

Moreover, Tennis Australia also released a statement categorically denying rumours that Djokovic will be granted a medical exemption in order to compete for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

Tournament director Tiley spoke to Djokovic this weekend regarding his involvement but due to privacy protocols only Djokovic is able to reveal whether he has applied for a medical exemption.

Tiley said “everyone who is coming in is vaccinated and there will be a small percentage – a very small percentage – that will have a medical exemption.

“So if any player, fan [or] workforce is on site here, you’re either vaccinated or you have a medical exemption that’s approved and you’re on the Australian Immunisation Register. That provides us with safety and an extra level of comfort on site.

“If Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he’ll either be vaccinated or he’ll have a medical exemption.

“Medically, he doesn’t talk to anyone about it — I’m not going to ask Novak that, it’s none of my business.

“[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. We are not going to force him or ask him to disclose that.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.