Djokovic should endure his own burden – Nadal
www.athleticshour.com | Australian Open
The World Number 6 and Spaniard’s tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has expressed little sympathy for long-time rival Novak Djokovic, stating on Thursday that he must face the consequences of not getting a coronavirus vaccine. Djokovic should endure his own burden – Nadal.
On his way to Australia late Wednesday, the world number one was halted by border officials and his visa was revoked for failing to meet Covid vaccination entry criteria.
He is facing deportation, but has filed a legal challenge to stay in the country and compete in the Australian Open this month, where he and Nadal will be vying for a record 21st Grand Slam victory.
Last month, Nadal contracted Covid and stated he was a firm believer in being vaccinated to prevent a pandemic in which “a lot of people had been dying.”
“I went through the Covid, I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing,” he said in Melbourne after winning his first singles match on the ATP Tour since August.
“The only thing clear for me is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion have been suffering enough to not follow the rules.
“He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences,” he added of Djokovic.
“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 since a lot of months ago, so he makes his own decision.”
This week, Djokovic claimed on Instagram that he had secured an exemption to compete in the Australian Open without having been vaccinated.
“A lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic,” he said.
“I mean, it’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the (Djokovic) case because they have been going through a lot of very hard lockdowns, and a lot of people were not able to come back home.”
Rafael is now ranked world number 6 by the Association of Tennis Professionals, but has been ranked number 1 in the ATP rankings for 209 weeks.
On January 17, the Australian Open will begin.