FILE - In this file photo taken on October 11, 2020 Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Novak Djokovic talk prior to their French Open final match in Paris. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP
FILE - In this file photo taken on October 11, 2020 Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Novak Djokovic talk prior to their French Open final match in Paris. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Justice has spoken so Novak Djokovic should play in Australian Open, says Rafael Nadal

By AFP Time of article published Jan 10, 2022

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Madrid — Rafael Nadal believes "justice has spoken" and "it is the fairest thing" for Novak Djokovic to play in the Australian Open, following the decision of a judge.

"Regardless of whether or not I agree on some things with Djokovic, without any doubt, justice has spoken," Nadal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero on Monday.

"They have said he has the right to play in the Australian Open and I really believe that is the fairest thing if the issue has been resolved, which seems to be the case," Nadal added.

The decision by Australian judge Anthony Kelly ordering the immediate release of Djokovic paves the way for the two great rivals to bid for an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam singles title.

The 34-year-old Serbian has been held for four nights in an immigration detention facility in Melbourne after he failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed against Covid-19.

Djokovic is not vaccinated against Covid-19 and armed with a medical exemption from the Australia Open organisers had arrived in Melbourne last Wednesday ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season.

However, immigration officials decided the champion had failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed.

Despite losing in court the Australian government has warned it could still force Djokovic to leave by cancelling his visa for a second time, which would see the Serb miss the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.

"On a personal level I would prefer that he doesn’t play," Nadal said, laughing.

"Selfishly speaking for our sport, the best players being on the court competing is much better than that them being anywhere else," added the 35-year-old Spaniard.

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