Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2022

‘No player is more important than an event’ – Rafael Nadal ‘tired’ of Novak Djokovic Australian Open drama

Rafael Nadal “thinks the deportation situation has gone too far” and believes “the Australian Open will be a great tournament with or without Novak Djokovic.”

After the sensational news that World number one and 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic will be deported from Australia, Nadal is now the only one of the ‘Big Three’ to compete at the Australian Open.

Djokovic has been embroiled in drama ever since he arrived Down Under last week. The Serbian icon had been granted a medical exemption due to him not being vaccinated, a prerequisite for competition at this year’s ‘Happy Slam.’

However upon arrival Djokovic had his medical exemption and visa terminated and faced deportation. Whilst this decision was overturned in the court, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke superseded the courts decision and cancelled Djokovic’s visa once more.

This time, Djokovic lost his appeal and will now be deported from Australia just one day before the first Grand Slam of the season gets underway.

Additionally, fellow 20-time Slam titlist Roger Federer is still recovering from knee surgery, with the Swiss maestro aiming to make a return in the Summer, potentially at Wimbledon.

In a pre-tournament press conference, Nadal said “the Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him.

“I think the situation has gone too far. Honestly I’m a little bit tired of the situation because I just believe that it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis.

“There is no player in history who’s more important than an event.

“From my point of view there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. I think it will be good if everything clarifies soon. Everyone chooses his [their] road.

Whilst Nadal disagrees with Djokovic’s vaccination stance, the Spaniard is full of respect for his fellow competitor, saying “as a person, of course, and as an athlete, without a doubt.

“I really respect him, even if I don’t agree with a lot of the things that he did the last couple of weeks.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.