Thursday. 01.12.2022
AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Nadal on Djokovic case: 'will never be against what justice says'

Nadal advanced to the second round in Melbourne with a cruising 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Marcos Giron

17 January 2022, Australia, Melbourne: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal reacts after winning his First Round Men's Singles tennis match against USA's Marcos Giron on Day 1 of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Photo: Dave Hunt/AAP/dpa.
Nadal reacts after winning his First Round Men's Singles tennis match against USA's Marcos Giron. Photo: Dave Hunt/dpa.

Rafael Nadal believes it would be "better for everybody" if Novak Djokovic was competing at the Australian Open, while declaring the situation a "mess".

Nadal sits level on 20 grand slam titles with Djokovic and Roger Federer but is the only one of tennis' 'Big Three' featuring in Melbourne.

Federer was ruled out due to ongoing knee injury problems, while Djokovic saw his visa cancelled for a second time on Sunday as he appealed Australia's refusal to let him into the country.

That ruling owed to Djokovic's unvaccinated status and Australia's coronavirus guidelines, leaving the Serbian unable to defend his Melbourne Park crown and seek a record-extending 21st grand slam.

Nadal has previously said he was "tired" of talking about the Djokovic saga, but the Spaniard again offered his thoughts after defeating Marcos Giron in the first round on Monday.

"Almost one week ago when he won in the first instance, the case, he was able to get back his visa and practising. I said the justice has spoken," Nadal told reporters.

"If the justice says his visa is valid and he's able to play here, the justice has spoken, so that's the fairest thing, that he deserves to play here. Yesterday the justice said another thing. I will never be against what the justice says.

"Another thing is what I believe personally and what I believe is the ideal situation personally, no?

"The ideal situation in the world of sport is that the best players are on court and playing the most important events. That's better for the sport without a doubt.

"If Novak Djokovic is playing here, it's better for everybody, no doubt about that. Another thing is what happened. As I said in the beginning, I can't say another thing because I believe that the situation is very clear now."

Nadal wishes Djokovic 'all the best'

Pressed for an answer on his relationship with the 34-year-old world number one, Nadal wished his fellow competitor all the best.

"He's not the only one that did bad things in that case," Nadal added.

"Of course, there are more responsibilities on all for this terrible situation that we faced for the last two weeks. But of course, he is one of those responsible, too.

"So on a personal level, yes, I would like to see him playing here. If it is fair or not that he's playing here is another discussion that I don't want to talk anymore about that."

Nadal advanced to the second round in Melbourne with a cruising 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Giron, who is ranked 66th in the world. He next plays Yannick Hanfmann of Germany.

Nadal on Djokovic case: 'will never be against what justice says'
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