Jamie Murray questions validity of Djokovic exemption as Serb jets to Australia

Jamie Murray has cast suspicion over the motives behind Novak Djokovic ’s medical exemption into Australia.

The nine-time Australian Open champion confirmed on Tuesday that he had received “an exemption permission” to enter the country, bypassing the requirement for all players and tournament personnel to be fully vaccinated in order to travel and compete.

Tennis Australia later announced that the world No 1 had been granted a medical exemption “following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.”

No reason has been given for Djokovic’s medical exemption, but the Australian Governent Department of Health requires all general applicants for an exemption to display an “acute major medical condition” which includes “undergoing major surgery or hospital admission for a serious illness.”

Confirmed infection from the past six months or “any serious adverse event attributed to a previous dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, without another cause identified, and with no acceptable alternative vaccine available” are also outlined as valid reasons for a medical exemption.

Djokovic himself took to Instagram to announce the news as he jetted off to Melbourne for the upcoming Grand Slam.

"Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you all health, love, and happiness in every present moment and may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet," he wrote, alongside a photo of himself in the airport.

"I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022!!"

Two-time men's doubles Grand Slam champion Jamie Murray has now reacted to the news, admitting he didn't think the same rules would apply if someone like himself attempted to gain an exemption.

Speaking after he and Joe Salisbury lost the decisive doubles rubber against Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the ATP Cup on Tuesday, he said: "I don't know what to say about that really. I think if it was me that wasn't vaccinated I wouldn't be getting an exemption.

"But well done to him for getting clear to come to Australia and compete."

The former doubles world No 1 was also asked whether he thought the decision to grant Djokovic a medical exemption was unfair.

“Well, it's whatever you want to say. That's the situation," Murray responded.

Liam Broady, who is Great Britain's team captain this week in Sydney, then interjected and added: "At the end of the day you kind of have to trust that he does has a valid reason for the medical exemption. That's all you can say about it, really, isn't it?”

But the British No 4 gave a different view on his Instagram account earlier in the day.

Reposting Djokovic's announcement to his story, Broady wrote: "The second AO announced there would be exemptions 8 weeks ago we all knew," adding an eye-roll emoji and a laughing emoji.

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