World number one Novak Djokovic says he will play in the Australian Open (Outright 6/4) this month after receiving a medical exemption from having a Covid-19 vaccination.

The Serbian is looking to win a tenth title Down Under and his fourth consecutively, a triumph which would see him top the all-time list for Grand Slam champions.

He currently has 20 to his name, jointly held with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the era of the “Big Three”.

Djokovic is expected to perform strongly in Melbourne once again but there had been doubt for the past few weeks about his participation.

The 34-year-old has not publicly declared his vaccination status in regards to Covid and it was doubtful whether he would be able to play with Australia having some of the strictest Covid protocol on the planet.

He also pulled out of the Serbia team for the ATP Cup in Sydney, raising further doubts about his Australian Open participation.

All players and staff going to the event must be vaccinated or have an exemption granted by an independent panel.

Djokovic has now been granted an exemption and is free to compete.

Last year, he defeated Russian Daniil Medvedev (Outright 5/2) in straight sets to claim his ninth title and says he is looking forward to heading back to Australia.

“I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading down under with an exemption permission,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Let’s go 2022.

“I am ready to live and breathe tennis in the next few weeks of competition.”

Djokovic enjoyed a stellar 2021, winning his second French Open title as well as another Wimbledon success and will be hoping to build upon that in the new year.

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