Novak Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title after all -- the Serbian tennis star just announced he will compete at the Grand Slam event after being granted a medical exemption from the COVID vaccine mandate.
"I've spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission," Djokovic said on Instagram on Tuesday morning.
"Let's go 2022."
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Djokovic's status for the tourney in Melbourne had previously been in question, as he was uncertain if he would participate due to concerns over Australia's quarantine rules and the event's vaccine mandate.
But, the Australian Open said Tuesday that officials conducted two reviews of Djokovic's application for a medical exemption and granted it -- paving the way for the star's return to the Aussie courts.
"Djokovic applied for a medical exemption which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts,'' Australian Open officials said.
Added tournament director Craig Tiley, "Fair and independent protocols were established for assessing medical exemption applications that will enable us to ensure Australian Open 2022 is safe and enjoyable for everyone."
Novak -- the No. 1-ranked men's tennis player in the world -- is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 grand slam titles ... and has won the last three Australian Open titles.
The tournament is scheduled to run from Jan. 17 to Jan. 30.