Rafael Nadal said he feels sorry for Novak Djokovic after the world number one was denied entry into Australia but added that the Serb knew for months he could potentially face problems if he arrived without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Q. Obviously the Novak situation is all anyone is talking about today; can we get your perspective on it, and just in general whether you think it might impact on how people look at Australia and the Australian Open in general?
Well, I dont know. Of course what’s happening is not good for no one in my opinion. But I can’t have a clear opinion on everything because I don’t have all the details, honestly. Seems some rough situation, but at the end of the day the only thing that I can say is we have been going through very challenging and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic.
I mean, it’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the 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. From my point of view, that’s the only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who knows about medicine says, and if the people says that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine. That’s my point of view. I went through the 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 have been suffering enough to not follow the rules.
Q. So you’d encourage Novak to get vaccinated and it solves all the problems?
I don’t encourage no one. I feel everyone have to do whatever, whatever feels that is good for him. But there are rules, and if you don’t want to get the vaccine, then you can have some troubles. That’s the thing. Of course after a lot of people had been dying for two years, my feeling is with the vaccine is the only way to stop this pandemic. That’s what the people who understands about this says, and I am no one to create a different opinion.
Q. Do you feel sorry for Novak’s situation, and do you want to see him play here in Australia, or do you think he should have known better?
I don’t have an opinion on that. I think if he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem. He went through another he made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some 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.