"The Australian Open is much more important than any player"

Two days after his debut at the Australian Open, Rafa Nadal spoke to the press and once again commented on the scandal surrounding Novak Djokovic, who was arrested after his visa was canceled and was on the verge of being deported after having entered the country without being vaccinated against covid-19.

“It is very clear that Novak Djokovic is one of the best players of history, no doubt. But there is no player in history that is more important than an event. The player stays and then leaves, and other players come. Nobody, not even Roger (Federer), Novak (Djokovic), myself, Bjorn Borg, who was incredible at the time, tennis goes on,” said the Spaniard, forcefully, without filter.

In this context, Nadal added: “The Australian Open is much more important than any player. If he finally plays, that’s fine. If not, the Australian Open will be a great tournament with or without him. That’s my point of view”.

The Spaniard, who like Djokovic aspires to win his 21st Grand Slam and break the record they also share with Roger Federer, said he respected the Serbian “as a person, of course, and as an athlete, without a doubt.” “I really respect him, even if I disagree with many things he has done in the last two weeks,” he insisted.

However, Nadal indicated that the situation due to the Djokovic case “he’s gone too far”. “Honestly, I’m a little tired of the situation, because I think it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis,” said the Spaniard.

Although he clarified that “very challenging moments worldwide with this pandemic” were experienced. “Tennis is not important compared to what we are facing now, this virus,” he added, later indicating that “many players have not been able to survive the pandemic.” “These very challenging times must at some point end because it’s very difficult to continue to run a tour with tournaments losing money, with players going through mental issues because of all of that. If there is a solution, and the solution is the vaccineThat’s all,” he sentenced.

“We need to be vaccinated and the situation must be better for the well-being of all and for the health of our sport,” he added.

When the scandal with Djokovic broke out, Nadal explained that “we must trust the people who know”, referring to the health professionals who advise getting vaccinated to stop the pandemic.

In this regard, he added: “I feel bad for him but Novak knew the conditions in advance” and insisted that it is important to trust the professionals in the field and follow their advice to receive the vaccine.

“It’s normal for people here to get frustrated. They’ve been through very harsh confinements, people couldn’t travel from one state to another,” the tennis player transmitted when giving his opinion, at that time, about the stir caused by the news that the Serbian he had allegedly received a medical exemption to play the Australian Open.

“He is a person of legal age who makes his own decisions and who has to pay the consequences of those decisions,” Nadal concluded.

Djokovic is currently in detention pending justice ruling on the new deportation attempt by the Australian government, which considers him a threat for not being vaccinated against covid.

Arrived in Australia ten days ago, the Serbian saved a first deportation attempt and since Monday was free, and was able to train for the tournament. But on Friday, the government again canceled his visa, leaving him on the verge of deportation with no chance of playing the Australian Open.

With information from AFP

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