Rafael Nadal insists Novak Djokovic ‘knew the risks’ of flying out to Australia unvaccinated and insisted the world number one should be subject to the same rules as everyone else in the country.
Djokovic has challenged the Australian Border Force’s decision to cancel his visa application and deport the nine-time Australian Open champion.
His appeal has been adjourned until 10am on Monday in Melbourne but the world number one has been told by the Federal Court of Australia that he can remain in Melbourne until his appeal resumes.
Djokovic travelled to Australia after announcing he had received a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination rules to compete in the tournament.
That, however, was not sufficient for border officials with regard to entry into a country that has strict entry requirements. Djokovic was held for several hours at the airport after flying to Melbourne before ultimately being turned away.
Nadal was asked to give his opinion on Djokovic’s situation as news continued to break on the incident.
“Of course what’s happening is not good for no one in my opinion,” Nadal said.
“But I can’t have a clear opinion on everything because I don’t have all the details.
“Seems some rough situation, but at the end of the day the only thing that I can say is we have been going through very challenging times and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic.
“I mean it’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the 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.
“From my point of view, that’s the only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who know about medicine say, and if the people say that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine.
“That’s my point of view. 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.
“The world in my opinion has been suffering enough to not follow the rules. After a lot of people have been dying for two years, my feeling is the vaccine is the only way to stop this pandemic.
“That’s what the people who understand this say, and I am no-one to create a different opinion.”
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