Rafael Nadal took a swipe at his rival Novak Djokovic on Saturday as the world’s top player
is fighting deportation from Australia and said: “The Australian Open is much more
important than any player.”
Before the start of the inaugural Grand Slam on Monday, Nadal said to the media on the
eve of Melbourne Park: “Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without
Djokovic is playing for the tournament to defend his crown but is in danger of being
deported from Australia shortly because the Australian government revoked his visa for the
second time, claiming he was a threat to the peace.
The ongoing debate about whether or not the non-vaccinated Serbian is allowed to remain
in the country has dominated the first Grand Slam of the year that will play in the United
States, where Djokovic and Nadal are both aiming to be the first person to win 21 major
Nadal stated that he was a fan of Djokovic “as a person, of course, and as an athlete,
without a doubt.”
However, the Spaniard said: “I respect him, even if I don’t agree with a lot of the things
that he did the last couple of weeks.”
He also said that the debate had gone into the night for way too long.
“I think the situation has been too far.
Honestly, I’m a little bit tired of the situation because I believe that it’s essential to talk
about our sport, about tennis,” Nadal declared.