Nadal took aim at his long-time rival, who was facing being deported on Thursday for failing to provide “appropriate evidence” to warrant him being granted a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open.
The Spaniard, who is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer on 20 grand slams and could now be the only one of the three at the first major of the year, also implied those who refused to be jabbed were selfish.
Nadal said: “If he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without problems. He makes his own decision. Everyone is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences. 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 made his own decision.”
Djokovic has repeatedly refused to reveal whether he had been inoculated against COVID-19 but has previously stated he was “opposed” to vaccination.
Stressing the importance of players being jabbed, Nadal said: “We have been going through very challenging [times] and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic.
“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 the vaccine. That’s my point of view.
“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 thing.
“The only, for me, clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion has been suffering enough to [not] not follow the rules.”
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