“No player is more important than a tournament”: Rafa Nadal’s harsh analysis of the Novak Djokovic case

The novel that has the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic as the main protagonist does not stop and in the last hours added a new chapter. His visa was canceled for the second time this Friday and he was transferred again this Saturday to the Park Hotel, an establishment that officiates as an immigration detention center in Melbourne.

Before this news was known, several of the main rackets on the planet were consulted about the situation that the number one in the ATP ranking is experiencing in the run-up to the Australian Open. One of the most emphatic was the Spanish Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal referred to the situation of Novak Djokovic (REUTERS / Loren Elliott)

“One thing is very clear, Novak Djokovic is one of the best players in history,” the world number six began. And then he added: “But there is no player in history that is more important than a tournament, because the players stay and then they leave, and other players arrive. No one, not Roger, Novak or myself, not Bjorn Borg, who was incredible in his time, tennis goes on.”

The native of Manacor maintained that “the Australian Open is much more important than any player” and clarified that he was already a little tired of this situation since “I think it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis.”

Before the start of the Grand Slam on Monday, Nadal assured that “It will be a great Australian Open with or without him. If he ends up playing, fine. And if he doesn’t end up playing, it is what it is. It is worth noting that the Spaniard aspires to win his 21st Grand Slam and break the record he shares with Djokovic and Roger Federer. “I respect him as a person, of course, and as an athlete, without a doubt. I really respect him, even if I don’t agree with a lot of things he’s done in the last two weeks.”

Novak Djokovic was transferred in the last hours to Hotel Park (REUTERS)
Novak Djokovic was transferred in the last hours to Hotel Park (REUTERS)

“We are in a situation that has become more complicated than expected, that has gotten involved and that has dragged on over time. We are facing one of the most important tournaments in the world. There is no one of us more important than sport itself”, Rafa concluded at a press conference. In the first round he will face the American Marcos Giron.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that the Spaniard has expressed his opinion about what happened with Nole since he landed in Australian territory. “I had covid, I was vaccinated twice. If you do this, you have no problem playing here. That is the only thing that is clear. For me, the only thing that is clear is that if you have been vaccinated, you can play the Australian Open and anywhere, and in my opinion the world has already suffered enough not to follow the rules”, considered the Manacorí at the beginning of January.


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