'Feel sorry for him but he .....': Rafael Nadal opines on Novak Djokovic's Australian Open 2022 saga

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 06, 2022, 02:11 PM(IST)

Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal Photograph:( Reuters )

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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic Covid-19 vaccination saga has made the headlines. Ahead of the Australian Open 2022, Rafael Nadal has reacted to the recent developments with regard to the Serbian.

There has been a lot happening in tennis ahead of the Australian Open 2022. Before the first Grand Slam of the calendar year, world number 1 Novak Djokovic has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The Serbian's apprehensions regarding the Covid-19 vaccination isn't unknown. As per the rules, every player has to be double vaccinated to participate in the Aus Open. Hence, Djokovic had announced earlier this week that he has got exemption to participate in the showpiece event.

However, the Serb was denied entry in Australia after the country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that his visa has been cancelled as 'rules are rules' for one and all. Thus, the 34-year-old superstar tennis player was taken to a government detention hotel, on Wednesday (January 5), after being stopped at the airport as the Australian Federal Border Force officials claimed that he wasn't able to justify the grounds for his exemption (granted by the Victorian government). Despite a legal action from Djokovic's end, the state lawyer Christopher Tran has made it clear that Australia won't deport him before a final court hearing, on Monday (January 10). 

ALSO READ | Australia delays Novak Djokovic's deportation: What's next for world no. 1 and his bid for Aus Open title?

Thus, Rafael Nadal has spoken at length on Djokovic's Aus Open saga. In a press conference, the Spaniard said, "From my point of view, that's the only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who knows about medicine says, and if the people says that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine. That's my point of view."

"I went through the COVID. I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don't have any problem to play here. That's the only clear thing."

The 35-year-old Nadal further asserted, "The only for me clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion have been suffering enough to not follow the rules."

ALSO READ | Australian Open: Novak Djokovic's visa to enter country cancelled, PM Scott Morrison says 'rules are rules'

The 2009 Aus Open winner added, "I think if he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem. He went through another -- he made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences."

"Ofcourse I don't like the situation that is happening. In some way I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he makes his own decision." 

Nadal, however, didn't encourage Djokoivic to take the vaccine and, in turn, said, "I don't encourage no one. I feel everyone have to do whatever, whatever feels that is good for him. But there are rules, and if you don't want to get the vaccine, then you can have some troubles. That's the thing."

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"Of course after a lot of people had been dying for two years, my feeling is with the vaccine is the only way to stop this pandemic. That's what the people who understands about this says, and I am no one to create a different opinion," he concluded.

The Australian Open will commence on January 17. With the defending champion caught in a huge spot of bother amid vaccine status, it seems that Nadal will start as overwhelming favourite to win his second title Down Under.

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