Andy Murray still has unanswered question as Novak Djokovic confirms Australian Open entry

Novak Djokovic celebrates Serbia's WC qualification

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Novak Djokovic’s confirmation that he will compete at the Australian Open with a “medical exemption” will likely raise more questions than answers. Tennis Australia had originally announced back in November that all players hoping to compete in the first major of 2022 would need to be vaccinated.

He was then named on the official entry list for Melbourne Park, despite his consistent refusal to confirm his vaccine status.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley then caused a stir during the festive period when he announced that some players would be allowed to travel with a medical exemption.

And Djokovic announced on social media on Tuesday that he was heading out to Melbourne with an “exemption permission” to compete at the tournament without a Covid-19 vaccination.

The Australian Open then released a statement which stated that Djokovic was granted permission to travel following a “rigorous review process”.

JUST IN: Novak Djokovic confirms Australian Open entry with ‘exemption’

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The world No 1 has regularly refused to confirm whether or not he is vaccinated against Covid-19.

But when Murray saw Djokovic’s name on the entry list for the 2022 Australian Open, the three-time major champion believed that was the biggest hint yet that his old foe had indeed been vaccinated.

Speaking back in December when rules were still in place for all players to be vaccinated in order to compete at the Australian Open, Murray said: “I don’t know what the situation is with Novak.

“The latest I saw was that he was on the entry list, and I assume he’s playing and has been vaccinated.

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“But we were told they were the rules – if you want to play, you have to be vaccinated – so I’m assuming that’s what’s happened.”

But Djokovic’s ‘medical exemption’ leaves more doubt on Djokovic’s vaccine status.

Whatever the scenario, Murray has still got his wish of seeing Djokovic return to Melbourne.

Murray added: “Ultimately, you want all of the best players to be playing in the biggest events.

“It’s what makes the events more interesting and he’s also going to try to win and break the record, winning a 21st Slam.

“His record there is phenomenal, so hopefully he’ll be there.”

Tiley has hinted that other players hoping to compete may also be granted a medical exemption to compete.

But that process would be assesed by “two medical panels” with the redaction of personal information to ensure privacy for all applicants.

“Against the guidelines, an exemption gets granted or not,” Tiley said/

“The reason for granting the exemption remains private, between the panel and the applicant.

“We know of athletes that have applied for an exemption and in cases, it’s been granted.”

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