Australian Tennis Association president Craig Tiley urged world number one Novak Djokovic on Wednesday to reveal the reason for the “medical exemption” that will allow him to participate in his first major tournament this year, although he has never said whether Has he received a vaccine against the “Covid-19” virus or not.
“It would certainly be useful if Novak explained the circumstances under which he applied for an exemption” to participate in the tournament scheduled for January 17-30, said Tiley.
“I encourage him to talk to the community about this,” he added. “We’ve been through a very difficult time over the past two years, and I would appreciate some of the answers.”
But the head of the Australian Federation said: The world number one did not receive any preferential treatment to obtain this exemption, during a process supervised by the Australian and Victorian authorities.
He said: Twenty-six players or members of their technical, medical and administrative staff out of 3,000 expected to attend in Australia have requested an exemption, and only a few have obtained it.
Tiley insisted that anyone who met the conditions for an exemption was allowed into Australia, there was no special preference, there was no special treatment for Novak.
Djokovic is seeking his tenth title in the Australian Open, fourth in a row and 21 in a Grand Slam, thus setting the record for the number of titles in major tournaments, which he currently shares with Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer.
In addition to the fact that the Australian Open is his favorite tournament, it is his first in his 20 Grand Slam titles, when he won it in 2008, and no player has previously won it nine times.
But “Noli”’s participation in this year’s edition has been in doubt for many months, due to obligating the participants and participants to receive the anti-Covid-19 vaccine, along with those close to them and members of their training and medical staff.
Djokovic was granted a “medical exemption” on Tuesday, and the Australian Football Association resorted to medical confidentiality in order not to justify this exemption.
The announcement in particular provoked negative reactions from some players who denounced double standards, or in some Australian newspaper headlines, in a country where anti-Covid-19 measures have been particularly strict.
Djokovic has never talked about his vaccination status, and he spoke in April 2020 that he was against the mandatory vaccination, which was necessary at the time to resume competitions despite the “Covid-19” pandemic.