The issue is particularly thorny. Tennis Australia’s decision to approve the participation of Novak Djokovic in the first Grand Slam of the year and the subsequent government ban on allowing you to enter the country Due to an error in his visa, he divided opinions worldwide. But also within the circuit. There are players who have already demonstrated against the number 1 in the world, for the benefit granted by the organizers, but there are also those who defend it.
In the middle, you will find Rafael Nadal. He routinely chooses to be politically correct. This time he chose measured words to leave in the content of his sayings a harsh criticism against the Serbian player. Although he still avoided manifesting around one position or the other. The message was clear: he believes that Djokovic’s choice was not the most appropriate.
“If they gave him permission, he has to play. If they didn’t give it to him, he doesn’t have to play, ”he said. But immediately afterwards he clarified: “I had the Covid, I was vaccinated twice. If this is done, you have no problem playing here. That is the only thing that is clear, ”said the Spaniard.
Then he argued. “For me the only thing clear is that if you have been vaccinated, you can play the Australian Open and anywhere. In my opinion, the pandemic has killed many people. The world has already suffered enough not to follow the rules. (Djokovic) has made his own decisions, and everyone is free to do so, but that has some consequences. I certainly don’t like this situation, and in a way I feel sorry for him. “
When asked if he would recommend Djokovic to get vaccinated, he declined: “I can’t recommend anything to you. He has to do what he thinks is best for him. “
Rafael Nadal spoke to the press in Melbourne, where he is currently contesting the ATP 250 in that city, in preparation for the Australian Open. There he beat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 7-5 in a second round match. In the next round, for the quarterfinals, he will face Tallon Griekspoor (Netherlands).
Nadal had not played for five months due to an injury. His last game had been a loss to South African Lloyd Harris at the Washington Open in August last year.
Like Djokovic, he is in pursuit of his 21st Grand Slam title, a career that has equaled both of them and Roger Federer in 20 wins.
More forceful and with a strong quota of irony, was the British Jamie Murray (71st in the ranking). “I think if I was the one who was not vaccinated, I would not get the exemption. That’s what i think”Was downloaded.
Also the former players showed their discomfort over Djokovic’s decision. Rod Laver commented: “The best thing for him is that he explains and if there is a reason that he says it. I think we should know. He is a great player and has won many tournaments so the reason cannot be physical ”.
There are also players who support number 1. The American Tennis Sandgren, who also spoke out publicly about his rejection of the application of the Covid-19 vaccine, was forceful. Just to be very clear here: two different medical boards have approved its exemption and politicians prevent it. Australia does not deserve to host a Grand Slam, ”he complained.
Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert (110 °), who like Sandgren did not appear in Australia due to his rejection of the requirement for a health pass, argued: “It seems to me that an unvaccinated person has the right to go to work. The exemption they gave Djokovic may provide a glimmer of hope to get out of this divisive issue. At the moment, the future is quite dark for the unvaccinated. It is painful”.