Tennis star, Rafael Nadal has told his rival, Novak Djokovic, to get vaccinated in order to be able to compete at the Australian Open.
Djokovic is facing being kicked out of the country next week after he arrived in Melbourne late Wednesday night without the right visa, which was rejected by border force officials over his vaccination exemption.
With Djokovic’s team prepared to fight his case in the Federal Court, Nadal weighed into the saga on Thursday.
The Spaniard is currently in Melbourne to prepare for the grand slam, just weeks after he tested positive to Covid-19.
Nadal condemned the ongoing riff and said Djokovic wouldn’t be in the predicament he’s in right now if he was vaccinated. He also urged him to get vaccinated.
‘What’s happening is not good for no one, in my opinion, the world number six said.
‘(It) is normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the (Djokovic) 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.
‘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 vaccinated.
‘I went through 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 rest of the things, I don’t want to have or to give to you an opinion that I don’t have the whole information.
‘The only for me clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion has been suffering enough to not follow the rules.’
Djokovic will spend the next four days locked up in a refugee detention centre after the Federal Court adjourned his appeal to be let into the country ahead until Monday.
Nadal admits he feels ‘in some way’ sorry for his long-time rival but says Djokovic must face the consequences for his decisions.
‘I think if he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem,’ the Spaniard said.
‘He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to make their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.
‘I don’t encourage anybody. Everyone has to do what they feel is good for them but there are rules and without the vaccine there can be some troubles.
‘He’s free to take his own position, but then there are consequences.
‘Of course, I don’t like the situation that is happening. In some way, I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he makes his own decision.’