Australian Open confident on Nadal’s presence, uncertain about Djokovic

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday he was confident Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal would be at Melbourne Park for next month’s Grand Slam despite testing positive for COVID-19, but he was still uncertain whether defending champion Novak Djokovic would play.

Nadal caught the novel coronavirus while playing in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi last week and said he would make a decision on his future tournaments depending on his “evolution” over the weeks ahead.

Tiley reiterated that all players and staff at the Australian Open would be vaccinated or have a medical exemption granted by an independent panel of experts. Those requirements have prevented Djokovic, who has declined to disclose whether he is vaccinated, citing privacy, from confirming whether he will bid for a 21st Grand Slam title and a 10th Australian Open crown next month.

Tiley said that as far as he was aware, no players had yet been granted medical exemptions and that it would be up to Djokovic to disclose the grounds on which he gained entry to Australia.

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