Nadal Djokovic US Open

Rafael Nadal would ‘much rather Novak Djokovic didn’t play’ Australian Open

After Novak Djokovic had his visa reinstated and was allowed to compete at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal has wished him “the best of luck” but would “rather he didn’t play, on a personal level.”

Ever since World number one Djokovic travelled to Australia last week, he has found himself swept up in huge controversy.

Djokovic revealed he had been granted a medical exemption before travelling, but was then detained upon arrival as his exemption was said to be invalid and his visa was subsequently cancelled.

The Serbian legend had been allowed to stay in Australia with an injunction as he fought the decision in court. The result of the hearing ruled that Djokovic has the right to remain in Australia and compete to for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

However, it was also said that Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews reserved the right to veto the decision and remove Djokovic from Australia.

Both 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic and Nadal have taken differing stances regarding the Covid-19 vaccinations.

Whilst Djokovic had constantly refused to reveal his vaccination status and had previously stated his concerns with vaccine mandates, Nadal has always been a large proponent of the vaccines.

Nadal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero,ย “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.

“On a personal level, I’d much rather he didn’t play,” Nadal said whilst laughing.

“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 then went on to once more reiterate the importance of the Covid-19 vaccines, saying “the most important institutions in the world say that the vaccine is the way to stop this pandemic [Covid-19] and the disaster that we have been living for the last 20 months.”

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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.