‘He could’ve done things in a different way!’ Rafael Nadal’s uncle on Novak Djokovic’s visa debacle, says ‘For a tournament it is very good to have his presence’


‘He could’ve done things in a different way!’ Rafael Nadal’s uncle on Novak Djokovic’s visa debacle, says ‘For a tournament it is very good to have his presence’

Novak Djokovic and Toni Nadal

The start of the 2022 season has been a rather odd one. Instead of tennis, all eyes were focused on the Novak Djokovic saga happening off the court. Djokovic was deported a day before the Australian Open started after a two week virtual tussle with the Australian government.

Rafael Nadal’s former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal has expressed his views on the matter and has said that he was surprised how things panned out during that period. He also added that Djokovic could’ve done things differently but he didn’t.

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“It has surprised me that the situation has gotten to where it has gotten,” Uncle Toni said. “Djokovic could have done things in a different way. There is an unquestionable reality and that is that to play in Australia he had to get vaccinated or have an exemption.”

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

He also said that any tournament wants Djokovic to win given his stature and believed that the Australian Open organizers didn’t intentionally do things to trouble Djokovic.

“I start from the base that any organizer of a tournament wants to have Djokovic, it is normal, because he is a great player, he is one of the best in history. For a tournament it is very good to have his presence. I do not think it has gone against him intentionally but that they have not given him the exemptions. That’s all,” he said.

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Toni Nadal on whether one should get vaccinated or not

Novak Djokovic and Toni Nadal
Novak Djokovic and Toni Nadal

Uncle Toni further expressed his views on whether one should get vaccinated or not. He thinks that it can be any individual’s decision but one has to comply by the tournament’s rules.

“It is a debate that has transcended the world of sports about whether we vaccinate or not. If they tell you that to play you have to comply with regulations, then you do,” he said.

“Yes everyone would have taken Djokovic’s line if he hadn’t been vaccinated, maybe there wouldn’t be an Australian Open. The ATP asks you to get vaccinated and the other two players who have not been vaccinated agreed not to go play.”

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Also read: “Is it still about sport” Novak Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda questions the French Open for their compulsory vaccination policy

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