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Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic receives COVID-19 vaccine exemption, will participate in tournament

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Novak Djokovic is not vaccinated against COVID-19, but he is going to play in the Australian Open. The tennis star announced on Tuesday that he successfully received a medical exemption that will allow him to defend his Australian Open title. This comes after Australian Open organizers announced in November that all competitors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a medical exemption.

“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!” Djokovic posted on Twitter.

The Victorian government released a statement regarding the tournament’s exemption policy and said that it has a “two-stage independent process” in order to verify if any player has “a genuine medical condition that meets the criteria for an exemption.” Clearly, they decided that Djokovic does.

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No more information about the condition Djokovic has that led to his exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine will be released because “the personal information of any applicant is redacted to ensure the independence of the process.”

Djokovic is taking aim at his 21st Grand Slam title and is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles in men’s history. Nadal will be participating in the Australian Open after recently testing positive for COVID-19. Federer won’t be taking part in the event as he is recovering from knee surgery.

After drama surrounding whether Djokovic would even be allowed to play in the tournament, he now has the opportunity to make history at the Australian Open — an event that he has won on nine different occasions. He’ll try to win it for the tenth time when the action begins on Jan. 17.

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2022 World Juniors Primer: Everything to know about rescheduled tournament – Sportsnet.ca

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Ah, August. The Blue Jays are in a playoff race, NFL camps are in full swing and… the best junior hockey players in the world are hitting the ice.

It’s not Christmas in July, but the annual World Junior Hockey Championships holiday tradition is making an unusual appearance in the middle of the summer.

The tournament will feature 10 teams competing over a two-week span with gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs. Before play gets underway, here is everything you need to know.

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Investigating Hockey Canada

The most important story entering this tournament is off the ice, as Hockey Canada’s culture and governance are under a widening microscope following group sexual assault allegations made in a lawsuit earlier this year.

The allegations stem from an event in 2018 hosted in London, Ont. by Hockey Canada to celebrate a team that won this very same tournament. Since then, there have been revelations about another incident of alleged gang rape connected to the Team Canada team at the 2003 World Juniors.

The scandal has led to growing calls for Hockey Canada’s leadership to resign and on the weekend, Michael Brind’Amour — the chairman of the board — did.

This important story will remain front of mind for everyone as the tournament plays out for the first time since the revelations first came to light this spring.

Support for survivors
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and is in need of support, those in Canada can find province-specific centres, crisis lines and services here. For readers in America, a list of resources and references can be found here.

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Why was the tournament rescheduled?

The 2022 World Juniors were originally scheduled to take place from Dec. 26, 2021 to Jan. 5, 2022 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta. However, the tournament shut down after just three days when multiple teams recorded positive COVID-19 cases within their ranks.

The United States, Czechia and Russia had all forfeited games due to players testing positive before the cancellation was announced on Dec. 29.

The August tournament will be a complete reset of the event in December. That means all scores and standings will be erased and teams have picked new rosters. All players who were eligible for the December tournament, most of them from 2003 and 2004 birth years, are eligible to play this summer.

Red Deer is no longer co-hosting and all games will be played at Rogers Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers.

What teams are playing?

There are 10 teams competing in this tournament and they have been split into the following groups for pool play.

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Group A

United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Austria

Group B

Canada, Finland, Czechia, Slovakia, Latvia

The most notable development here is the addition of Latvia, which is replacing Russia. On Feb. 28, the IIHF banned Russia and Belarus from all competitions due to the invasion of Ukraine. As a result, the Russians — who did compete in this tournament last December — are now out and Latvia was promoted into the top division.

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Russia was also slated to be the host of the 2023 event this December, but that will now take place in Halifax and Moncton. There will be no relegation round in the 2022 tournament meaning the same 10 teams will compete in the 2023 event.

The United States are the defending champions after they beat Canada in the gold medal game in 2021. Finland won bronze in that tournament, defeating Russia in the third-place game.

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Schedule

The tournament begins on Aug. 9 and each team will play four games in the preliminary round, which concludes on Aug. 15. The top four teams in each group will compete in the quarterfinals on Aug. 17, the winners of those four games will face off in the semifinals on Aug. 19 and the medal games will be played on Aug. 20.

Below is the full preliminary round schedule.

All Times Eastern

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Aug. 9

Slovakia at Czechia, 2 p.m.

Finland at Latvia, 6 p.m. 

Germany at United States, 10 p.m.

Aug. 10

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Switzerland at Sweden, 2 p.m.

Canada at Latvia, 6 p.m.

Austria at Germany, 10 p.m.

Aug. 11

Czechia at Finland, 2 p.m.

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Canada at Slovakia, 6 p.m.

United States at Switzerland, 10 p.m.

Aug. 12

Sweden at Austria, 2 p.m.

Latvia at Slovakia, 6 p.m.

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Aug. 13

United States at Austria, 2 p.m.

Czechia at Canada, 6 p.m.

Swizterland at Germany, 10 p.m.

Aug. 14

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Slovakia at Finland, 2 p.m.

Latvia at Czechia, 6 p.m.

Sweden at United States, 10 p.m.

Aug. 15

Austria at Switzerland, 2 p.m.

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Finland at Canada, 6 p.m.

Germany at Sweden, 10 p.m.

Players to Watch

With the unique timing of this event, a number of top players have opted to skip it, instead focusing on the upcoming season. Regardless, there will still be some star power sprinkled across the rosters.

Our series of previews will introduce you to those players:

Bedard, Cooley, Wallstedt headline players to watch at 2022 WJC

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Canadian NHL teams will have plenty to monitor at World Juniors

16 returning, nine joining: Examining the new players on Team Canada’s WJC roster



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Serena Williams announces retirement plans: Tennis superstar ‘ready for what’s next’

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One of the most prominent American athletes is ready to retire. Tennis legend Serena Williams has announced her retirement plans in the latest issue of Vogue. She did not put an exact timeline on when she will stop playing, but does plan to play in the upcoming US Open.

“It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine,” the tennis star told Vogue. “I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”

In an Instagram post promoting the Vogue piece on Tuesday morning, Williams wrote “I’m gonna relish these next few weeks,” insinuating that the US Open — which begins on Aug. 29 — will be her last tournament.

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Williams, 40, changed the sport of tennis when she broke onto the scene in 1995. Since then, she has won the Australian Open seven times, Wimbledon seven times, the US Open six times and the French Open three times. Altogether, she has 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, the most by any player in the Open Era.

The only person with more Grand Slam titles is Margaret Court (24).

“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” Williams told Vouge. “And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York [the US Open]. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.”

During her career, Williams was at the top of the Women’s Tennis Association rankings for a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks, and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. 

CBS Sports will have more on this breaking news story.

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Patrick Mahomes peels back curtain on AFC Title loss | FIRST THINGS FIRST

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Patrick Mahomes revealed that he learned a valuable lesson from blowing an 18-point lead against the Cincinnati Bengals, and losing out on the AFC Championship: Never take your foot off the gas. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback said that the lead had the team playing it safe, thus allowing Joe Burrow to stage a comeback, and taking their spot in the Super Bowl. Mahomes asserts he won’t make that mistake again, and Greg Jennings shares his thoughts on the QBs comments.



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