The most surprising thing about Novak Djokovic's special exemption to compete at the 2022 Australian Open is that people are surprised.
Djokovic was confirmed as a starter for the Melbourne tournament on Wednesday, despite the fact he refuses to declare his Covid-19 vaccination status and is presumed unvaccinated.
Organisers announced that the 34-year-old will be allowed to both enter Victoria and take the court at the event, after getting his medical exemption granted.
Tennis Australia said Djokovic's passage was approved after a "rigorous review process" which involved two separate independent panels of medical experts.
The decision has seen the outrage machine thunder into gear, with journalists, sportspeople, politicians and fans speaking out stridently on the topic du jour across the Tasman.
But should we be surprised?
While the medical process is confidential – and Australian Open director Craig Tiley said he had no access to Djokovic's files – it's hard to imagine a scenario where the tournament would have said no to Novak.
Djokovic is box office gold and, in the absence of the injured Roger Federer, the biggest drawcard in the men's field, alongside Rafael Nadal.
He will sell out Rod Laver Arena for each of his matches and there is likely to be six or seven, based on past deeds.
The Serbian has lifted the trophy nine times at Melbourne Park (three more than the next best) and another triumph later this month will break the all-time record for total men's Grand Slam titles (20).
Djokovic has also claimed a record 37 ATP Masters titles and spent more time as No1 (354 weeks) that any other male.
Of course Djokovic has been afforded special treatment- why wouldn't he be?
It's hardly a new concept for the talented, famous, powerful or rich amongst us.
Think of Michael Jordan and his hypnotising effect on NBA referees, or England captain Harry Kane with Premier League officials.
Andre Agassi's drug-taking was covered up by the ATP, while several high-profile rugby players in this country have avoided convictions, seemingly treated leniently by the courts because of who they were.
What about Russia being allowed to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics, despite their state-sponsored doping programme being uncovered? And would Peter Thiel's New Zealand citizenship have been granted if he wasn't a billionaire?
Djokovic's presence in Melbourne will generate millions for the tournament and, by default, the local economy. His participation would have been vital for host broadcaster Channel Seven, while the latest drama will be manna from heaven for the local media networks, adding a new focal point to their coverage.
British doubles player Jamie Murray's observation on Wednesday that "I think if I had been there instead of him, I would not have obtained any exemption" was spot on, simply because someone like Murray doesn't sell tickets or attract television ratings.
Djokovic isn't just any other player, or even any traveller.
He's a special one and has been accorded unique treatment, regardless of what the various authorities may argue.
Is it right?
Probably not, and it's a poor example as, at the very least, Djokovic should have been mandated to complete 14 days hotel quarantine, like other unvaccinated individuals entering Victoria this month.
But that was never going to happen, as it's a reality of the world we live in.
Djokovic may be arrogant, and probably ignorant, but he is only taking advantage of a system that has existed for a millennium.
While 95 out of the top 100 male players have followed convention and are currently vaccinated, according to the ATP, Djokovic knows there is an exception for every rule, especially for superstars.