Australian Open: Rafael Nadal takes sly dig at Novak Djokovic over quarantine complaints

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 26, 2021, 05.13 PM(IST)

A file photo of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Rafael Nadal has taken a sly dig at world number one Novak Djokovic following his requests for quarantined players for the Australian Open 2021 as the Spaniard said that not everyone felt the need to "advertise" how they were trying to help "others". 

Rafael Nadal has taken a sly dig at world number one Novak Djokovic following his requests for quarantined players for the Australian Open 2021 as the Spaniard said that not everyone felt the need to "advertise" how they were trying to help "others". 

The Serbian ace gave a list of suggestions to Tennis Australia last week on behalf of 72 players, who were unable to leave their hotel rooms in Melbourne after COVID-19 cases were detected on their planes to Australia. Reportedly, the list included shifting players into private houses with tennis courts and providing them with better meals. 

The requests by Djokovic provoked a backlash as Australian media portrayed players as selfish while fellow tennis star Nick Kyrgios termed the Serb as a "tool". 

Later, Djokovic published and open later to say his "good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued". 

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"We all try to help each other," Spanish great Nadal told ESPN Tuesday from Adelaide, where he and Djokovic are quarantining ahead of the year's opening Grand Slam in Melbourne on February 8. 

"Some need to make public everything they do to help others," he added, in remarks widely seen as referring to Djokovic. "Others... do it in a more private way without having to publish or advertise everything we're doing." 

While most of the players are still undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in Melbourne, Nadal, Djokovic and a few other superstars including Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka were taken to Adelaide where they are due to play an exhibition on Friday. 

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While it sparked takes on preferential treatment, Nadal admitted it had been smoother sailing. 

"In Adelaide, conditions have been better than most players in Melbourne," he said.  

"But there are players in Melbourne who have larger rooms where they can develop physical activities, others have smaller rooms and can't have contact with their coach and their physical trainer.  

"Where's the line? It's an ethical issue. Everyone has their own opinion and they are all respectable." 

Australian Open is set to commence from February 8. 

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