Rafael Nadal reacts as Australian judge orders Djokovic's release from detention ahead of Aus Open

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 10, 2022, 03:36 PM(IST)

Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal Photograph:( Reuters )

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The court's decision was due to come on Monday and it has favoured Novak Djokovic to remain in the country and bid for his 21st Grand Slam title overall. Rafael Nadal has now reacted to the court's decision:

On Monday (January 10), the World number 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic breathed a huge sigh of relief when the court ordered his immediate release from the immigration centre ahead of the Australian Open, which commences on January 17. 

Ahead of the calendar year's first Grand Slam, Djokovic got involved in a huge controversy when he announced that he is heading for Melbourne with an exemption received from the Victorian government, with regard to Covid vaccination, to play the Aus Open. The Serbian's stance on Covid vaccination remains known to all, however, his exemption was deemed unsatisfactory by the authorities on his arrival in Australia, on Wednesday (January 5), which put him in a detention centre. Thus, the court's decision was due to come on Monday and it has favoured the tennis superstar to remain in the country and bid for his 21st Grand Slam title overall.

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On hearing the court's decision, Djokovic's competitor and world number 6 Rafael Nadal also reacted to the new developments.  "Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision to do so, if it has been resolved that way. I wish him the best of luck," Nadal told Spanish radio Onda Cero on Monday.

He added, "On a personal level, I`d much rather he didn`t play," Nadal said, laughing along with interviewer. "It`s sports, many interests move around it, on a general level, at an economic, advertising level. Everything is much better when the best can be playing," Nadal said, before defending the Covid vaccination once again. He concluded by saying, "The most important institutions in the world say that the vaccine is the way to stop this pandemic and the disaster that we have been living for the last 20 months."

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The tennis fans would hope for the focus to shift entirely on the game ahead of the Australian Open, from next week. Many believe it will be a showdown between Nadal and Djokovic as the duo will fight hard to become the first male tennis player to get to 21 Grand Slam titles. At present, Roger Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are all tied at 20 GS titles each.

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