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Novak Djokovic was included in the Australian Open draw, amid speculation over the Serbian’s eligibility to enter the country.

Djokovic’s name is in the 2022 Australian Open main draw list released by Tennis Australia this afternoon, hours after the organization hit back at suggestions it sought to exploit a “loophole” in border entry rules so that unvaccinated players could participate in the January tournament.

The world number 1 has repeatedly refused to reveal his vaccination status, and on Wednesday morning, Victoria’s Deputy Prime Minister, James merlino, responded to a report that the world number 1 had the backing of Tennis Australia – the organizers of the Open – to seek a medical exemption.

“My take on this is very clear and very straightforward,” Merlino said Wednesday. “Everyone is looking forward to the Australian Open and everyone who will attend – spectators, players, officials, staff – everyone should be fully immunized.”

“These are the rules. Medical exemptions are just that – it’s not a loophole for privileged tennis players… It’s a medical exemption in exceptional circumstances if you have a serious illness, ”Merlino said.

Tennis Australia, in a statement released later Wednesday that did not mention Djokovic’s name, said “all Australian Open players, participants and staff should be vaccinated”.

“Any suggestion that Tennis Australia is looking for ‘loopholes’ in this process is simply false. Arbitration over medical exemptions is the domain of independent medical experts. We are not in a position to influence this process and we do not. neither would. ”

On Tuesday, Djokovic was announced as part of the Serbian squad taking part in the ATP Cup in Sydney in early January, fueling speculation that he could seek to enter the country via New South Wales and could seek an exemption. to circumvent the rules that apply to unvaccinated travelers.

You can read more about Djokovic and the vaccination status for the Australian Open here:


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