Nadal “I’m sorry” for Djokovic but says Serbian knew the risks

Djokovic, 34, was detained by officials at the border on Thursday amid a storm of protest about the decision to grant him a medical exemption from vaccination requirements to play in the Australian Open.

Rafa Naval said he was sorry Novak Djokovic was denied entry to Australia, but added that the Serbian had known for months that he could face problems if he arrived without being vaccinated against COVID-19. Djokovic, 34, was arrested Thursday by border officials. Amid a storm of protests over the decision to grant him a medical exemption from vaccination to play the Australian Open. The world number one, who has won nine Australian Opens including the last three and is tied with Naval and Roger Federer on 20 career Grand Slam titles, is locked in a Melbourne quarantine hotel as his lawyers challenge the entry ban from the federal government. “Of course, I don’t like the situation going on,” Naval told reporters after winning his match at the Melbourne Summer Set ATP 250 tournament. “Somehow I feel sorry for him. ” But at the same time, he had known the conditions for several months, so he made his decision.

Border authorities did not accept the exemption. The Australian Border Force issued a statement saying Djokovic failed to meet entry requirements.

“Nadal, 35, tested positive for COVID19 last month after playing at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The Spaniard said he had had “very busy” days. Djokovic, who has publicly criticized the mandatory vaccines, refused to disclose his vaccination status and said he had obtained a medical exemption to compete in Australia. Nadal said that what happened was not good for anyone. “It looks like a difficult situation,” Nadal said. “It’s normal that people here in Australia are very frustrated with the case because they’ve been through a lot of very difficult deadlocks…” I believe what people who know about medicine are saying, and if people are saying we have to to get vaccinated, we need to get vaccinated.

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand during his singles match against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania at Summer Set tennis tournament ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. 

“World number seven Matteo Berrettini, who lost to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last year, also had some sympathy for the Serbian.” ), “said the Italian.” But at the same time, I can understand why Australians obviously feel this (they do). “World number two Daniil Medvedev said if Djokovic was barred from competing at Melbourne Park the men’s draw would open. There’s still Rafa (but) the rest of us don’t have many slams , that’s for sure. “said the Russian, who won his first major at the U. Open last year.” When someone wins nine times, he’s not there, the draw s ‘opens a little. There is no secret.

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