Lima, January 15, 2022Updated on 01/15/2022 09:39 am
The saga around the possible deportation of Novak Djokovic overshadowed the Australian Open preview on Saturday and disgusted other tennis players like Rafael Nadal, who pointed out that the tournament “is much more important than any player.”
Before the start of the Grand Slam on Monday, Nadal assured that “Djokovic is one of the best in history, without a doubt, but there is no player who is more important than an event. Not Novak, not Roger, not me, not Björn Borg in his time. Tennis players come and go, but tennis goes on. The Australian Open will be a great tournament, with or without him.”
The Spaniard, who like Djokovic aspires to win his 21st Grand Slam and break the record that they also share with Roger Federer.
Nadal assured to respect to the serbian “as a person, of course, and as an athlete, without a doubt”. “I really respect him, even if I don’t agree with him.dor with many things that he has done in the last two weeks”, ihe insisted.
Djokovic is currently being held pending justice ruling on the new deportation attempt by the Australian government, which considers him a threat for not being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The Serbian – who has been in Australia for 10 days – saved a first deportation attempt and since Monday was free, being able to prepare for the tournament. But on Friday, the government again canceled his visa.
“We are in a situation that has become more complicated than expected, that has gotten mixed up and that has dragged on over time,” Nadal opined.
“Honestly, I’m a bit tired of the situation because I think it’s important to talk about our sport,” added. Finally, the number six in the world assured that “We are facing one of the most important tournaments in the world. There is none of us more important than sport itself.”