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Australian Open Confident on Nadal's Presence, Uncertain About Djokovic

INTERNATIONAL: 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 nine-time 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.

Craig Tiley, Australian Open Tournament Director has updated on the situation for the tournament:

"Players that are testing positive now, as you read this morning, Rafael from last Saturday, they will complete a period of time and become no longer infectious when they're shedding the virus and then they will be fine. So getting positive now is actually, probably if you are going to get positive - a good thing - never getting positive is a good thing - but if it's going to be a situation where you want to play the Australian Open, your timing would be now so."

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.

Craig Tiley, Australian Open Tournament Director has given the information in a press release:

"Novak shows up at the Australian Open, he'll either be vaccinated or he'll have a medical exemption. Now his choice on his medical condition is his choice to keep personal and private like all of us would do with any condition we may or may not have. So we are not going to force him or ask him to disclose that. Everyone needs to know that the condition of entry would be those two requirements and it's rigorous, it's not that straightforward."


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