"Not quite the same pull" as Novak Djokovic - Tennys Sandgren reveals he will miss the Australian Open over vaccine mandate

Novak Djokovic (L) and Tennys Sandgren (R)
Novak Djokovic (L) and Tennys Sandgren (R)

Tennys Sandgren jokingly suggested he doesn't have "quite the same pull" as Novak Djokovic after revealing he will miss the Australian Open due to vaccination rules. World No. 1 Djokovic has confirmed he will play in Melbourne after receiving a medical exemption from having the COVID-19 vaccine.

All players are required to have been double vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter Australia to play the Grand Slam. However, some players have been granted a medical exemption. The year's first Major will be held from 17-30 January.

More #AusOpen news:Two-time quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren (2018, 2020) is pulling out of the #AusOpen because of the vaccination requirement here.Sandgren did not try to apply for any medical exemption, he told me, because he did not meet any of the criteria listed for one.

Sandgren revealed to journalist Ben Rothenberg he would not feature at the Australian Open due to the vaccine mandate. The World No. 96 explained he did not apply for a medical exemption to play as he did not meet the criteria.

The 30-year-old later had an interaction with fellow American player Tommy Paul in the comments section of a Tennis TV Instagram post announcing Djokovic's presence. Paul asked Sandgren if he would be playing in Australia. He confirmed his absence by replying "not quite the same pull," in reference to the Serbian's status and popularity.

πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€ would be very interesting to see how locker room reacts

Sandgren, who achieved a career-high ranking of No. 41 in 2019, reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 2018 and 2020.

News of Djokovic being given an exemption has led some fans to claim the World No. 1 has received preferential treatment. The Australian Open has released a statement explaining the decision, but reasons for specific individuals being granted exemptions will remain private.

Novak Djokovic is chasing history at the 2022 Australian Open

Novak Djokovic after winning the 2021 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic after winning the 2021 Australian Open

Novak Djokovic is looking to win a men's record 21st Grand Slam singles title at the 2022 Australian Open. The 34-year-old is tied on 20 Majors with his two great rivals: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Nadal will also play in the tournament while Federer is set to miss it due to an injury.

Djokovic is also aiming to secure a record-extending 10th Australian Open crown, having triumphed in the last three editions of the year's first Grand Slam.

Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, love & joy in every moment & may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet.I’ve spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022!

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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