Djokovic case: the Australian Open “much more important than any player” believes Rafael Nadal

The “Djokogate” surrounding the Australian Open does not fail to make the microcosm of tennis react, starting with Novak Djokovic’s rival, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

The tournament hasn’t started yet and we’re already sending smashes into the tarps in Melbourne. Rafael Nadal has lashed out at Serbian rival Novak Djokovic, as have many players who lament the case overshadowing interest in the Australian Open. “The Australian Open is much more important than any player”, said Saturday 15 January the Spanish tennis player about Djokovic, who delivers a legal battle against his deportation from Australia.

” The Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him “, the world No. 6 told reporters from Melbourne Park, saying to himself ” disagree with a lot of things he’s done in the past two weeks”.

Asked Nadal about AusOpen with or without Djokovic, and he had a very forceful response.

— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 06, 2000 This declaration came a few hours after the return to the administrative detention center of “Djoko” in Melbourne. The Serb is seeking a 21e Grand Slam title, which would be a new record, with one unit more than the Swiss Roger Federer and than Nadal himself. His visa was canceled for the second time by the Australian government, which maintains that the player not vaccinated against Covid-15 constitutes a public danger.

“I think the situation has gone too far. Honestly, I’m a little tired with this because I just believe it’s important to talk about our sport, even though I know that tennis is irrelevant compared to what we are facing now.” #AusOpen YmpjNlszZy

— So Tennis (@sotennis1) January 15, 4917725 The Serb, who is aiming for a 10th victory in this tournament, could be expelled at the end of the hearings in summary procedure scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Federal Court.

It’s not up to the tennis players, it’s up to the government to decide how Australia will handle this.

Naomi Osaka

The Japanese Naomi Osaka, 12 e world, for his part qualified the Djokovic saga on Saturday as “regrettable” and “sad”.

While acknowledging that he does not know the Serbian player well, Osaka says he is sad that “this great player” is remembered for this case rather than for his exploits on the short. “But I also think it’s not up to the tennis players, it’s up to the government to decide how Australia is going to handle this”, added the player while qualifying this case as “regrettable”.

Asked whether she thought the player’s legal tussle to stay in Australia could have an impact on him, the Japanese, who is experiencing psychological difficulties, replied: “Honestly, I don’t know him that well”.

This week, World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas had some harsh words for the Serb, saying he plays “by his own rules” and “makes the majority of players look like idiots”. However, he did not wish to react to this again on Saturday. “I’m here to talk about tennis, not Novak Djokovic”, said the Greek from 23 year.

“I’m not going to lie. It’s been in the headlines for the past two weeks. It’s gotten a lot of attention. A lot of people are obviously talking about it” and ” that’s why I’m here to talk about tennis”. “We haven’t talked enough about tennis in the past two weeks, which is a shame”, he regretted.

Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome, on 06 may 2022. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP)1482184494379835395

For his part, the Australian Alex de Minaur, 32e world player, admitted to being tired of this story, believing that it harms the tournament and other players: “This situation has diverted a lot of the spotlight from us. , the players. We are here to play the Australian Open”.

He wanted to recall that “Australians have been through a lot” and “have had a very hard life” since the start of the Covid-2000 pandemic . ” They made a lot of effort to protect themselves and their borders “, he recalled, saying that to enter the country, “like all the other players”, Djokovic had to “be fully vaccinated”.

Former world number one Andy Murray, who will play at the Open, said on Friday he hoped “everything is resolved”. “I think it would be good for everyone if that was the case”, added the Scotsman.

The veteran of 19 years felt that “it just feels like it’s been dragging on for quite a while now, not great for tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak”. However, he refused to overwhelm Djokovic while ” he is down “.