Novak Djokovic

‘He could’ve played no problem’ – Rafael Nadal suggests Novak Djokovic brought Australian Open fiasco on himself

Rafael Nadal has expressed his view that Novak Djokovic could have gotten fully vaccinated well in advance of the Australian Open in order to play the event without any difficulties. 

The Spaniard is currently playing the ATP 250 Melbourne Summer Set to kick off his 2022 season and prepare for the Australian Open.

After defeating Ricardas Berankis to progress to the quarter-finals there, Nadal was asked about Djokovic and the news of his visa cancellation and imminent expulsion from the country.

“I went through Covid. I have been vaccinated twice.

“For me, the only clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere.

“In my opinion the world has been suffering enough not to follow the rules.”

Nadal did emphasise that he would not necessarily encourage Djokovic to get vaccinated, saying that each individual must make their own choice.

However, the world number six also acknowledged the rules currently in place to play in Australia, and more broadly to travel internationally.

“But there are rules, and if you don’t want to get the vaccine, then you have some troubles, that’s the thing,” he continued.

“I think if [Djokovic] wanted he would be playing here in Australia without a problem.

“He went [another way], he made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions.

“But, then there are some consequences.

“Of course, 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 for a number of months, so he makes his own decision.”

One figure who has defended Djokovic is six-time Slam champion and former coach Boris Becker, who claimed the 34-year-old “didn’t break any rules.”

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