What other tennis stars say about Djokovic’s vaccine saga: NPR

“They have said he has the right to play in the Australian Open and I really think that is the fairest thing” if Novak Djokovic’s case is now resolved, said Rafael Nadal. He is seen here rehearsing for the tournament on Thursday.

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“They have said he has the right to play in the Australian Open and I really think that is the fairest thing” if Novak Djokovic’s case is now resolved, said Rafael Nadal. He is seen here rehearsing for the tournament on Thursday.

Martin Keep / AFP via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic’s rivals are reacting to the latest twists and turns in his battle to compete in the Australian Open with a mixture of sympathy and a desire for a final solution, to put the focus back on the Grand Slam tournament.

Earlier in the week, Djokovic said he was “happy and grateful” that a judge overturned his visa cancellation week. But on Friday, Australia’s immigration minister again revoked the visa. Djokovic is expected to be detained again on Saturday pending the results of one a court hearing Sunday.

Even players who previously said Djokovic should have simply followed the rules – and either been vaccinated or skipped the tournament – now say they do not like the way the conflict unfolds. They cite Djokovic’s forced stay at a quarantine hotel and the confusion and distraction of the Australian Open, which opens the Grand Slam season.

Here is a summary of what some of the top players said this week:

Rafael Nadal, who like Djokovic currently has 20 Grand Slam victories, said on Monday: “Whether I agree with some things with Djokovic or not, justice has spoken without a doubt.”

The Spanish star was quoted spoke to Spanish radio after a judge got Djokovic approved to stay in Melbourne before his visa was revoked.

“They have said he has the right to play in the Australian Open and I really think it is the fairest thing if the problem has been resolved, which seems to be the case,” said Nadal.

Like many other professional tennis players, Nadal had previously said that the requirements for athletes who want to play in Australia were clear.

“He made his own decisions and everyone is free to make their own decisions, but then there are some consequences,” Nadal was quoted says last week.

“Of course I do not like the situation that is happening. Somehow I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the situation since many months ago, so he makes his own decision.”

said Nadal he understood the anger many feel in Australia, referring to the many victims that the pandemic has claimed.

“I believe in what the people who know about medicine say, and if people say we need to be vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece said Djokovic wants to follow his own rules.

“He has certainly played by his own rules and has done something that not many players had the courage to go and do, especially after the ATP announced certain criteria for players to enter the country,” the Greek Tsitsipas told India . WION news channel.

“No one would have really thought, ‘I can just come to Australia unvaccinated and not have to follow the protocols they gave me’, which – it takes a lot of daring to do, and [it’s] to endanger the Grand Slam, which I again do not think many players would do. “

Tsitsipas who has aired his own doubts about coronavirus vaccines, said he chose to be vaccinated and focus on playing tennis.

“There are two ways to look at it. One way is … the statistics say that 98% of the players have been vaccinated and did what they had to do to come and perform and play in Australia,” he told WION the interview.

“On the other hand, it seems like not everyone is playing by the rules,” Tsitsipas said. He added, “a very small minority of that percentage chose to follow their own path, which in a way makes the majority look like they’re all fools or something.”

Novak Djokovic from Serbia said he was “happy and grateful” that a judge overturned his visa cancellation earlier this week. But Australia’s immigration minister then revoked the visa. A court is hearing the case on Sunday.

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Novak Djokovic from Serbia said he was “happy and grateful” that a judge overturned his visa cancellation earlier this week. But Australia’s immigration minister then revoked the visa. A court is hearing the case on Sunday.

Martin Keep / AFP via Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios – the Australian, who tested positive for COVID-19 this month, but hopes to be able to compete in the Open – said early in the drama surrounding Djokovic’s Australian visit that he believes everyone must follow the same rules and be vaccinated if they want to enter the country.

But as Djokovic spent days locked up in a hotel waiting to be notified of his visa, Kyrgios also said he felt sympathy for the Serb’s situation.

“I feel that whether it’s right or wrong … he’s a human being in the end.” said Kyrgios. “I feel a little sorry for him, that’s where I stand at the moment. I do not think that is the right way to go.”

People coming to Australia despite a problem with their visas should be allowed to rectify the problem, Kyrgios said.

“Because it’s Novak, I feel like we’re almost going a step further to punish him in a way.”

Kyrgios has said he was vaccinated to protect others, including his mother. But he criticized the way Djokovic is being treated and how his story is being told in the media.

“I feel pretty embarrassed as an Australian athlete who has seen what this guy has done for us and the sport,” Kyrgios said this week in a video clip on Instagram.

Andy Murray said: “I think everyone is shocked by it to be honest.”

“I’m going to say two things about it right now. The first thing is that I hope Novak is OK.” the British player was quoted tells journalists. “I know him well and I have always had a good relationship with him.

“The other thing I want to say about it is that it really is not good for tennis at all and I do not think it is good for anyone involved. I think it is really bad.

“Some things have come out that really don’t look good either. I want to hear all the facts first before I come up with all my thoughts on it.”

In late December, Murray announced he had received a booster vaccine and joked that he got his “3rd microchip injected into me today.”

“Jokes aside … science is the best,” he added.

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