Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic court case, vaccination exemption

Rafael Nadal has made it very clear that Novak Djokovic has no one to blame other than himself, as the world No.1 fears being sent home on a plane amid his anti-vaccination stand-off.

Djokovic is fighting to remain in Australia for the first grand slam of 2022, after arriving in Melbourne claiming to have received a medical exemption.

Nadal on Thursday played his first singles match since August in the Melbourne Summer Set, defeating Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 7-5.

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The 20-time grand slam singles champion was then asked for his views on the Djokovic drama in his post-match press conference.

“I think if he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem … He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences,” Nadal said.

“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.”

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Nadal then reiterated his opinion on COVID-19 vaccination.

“Of course after a lot of people had been dying for two years, my feeling is the vaccine is the only way to stop this pandemic,” Nadal said.

“That’s what the people who understand this says, and I am no one to create a different opinion.”

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Djokovic will remain in the country until at least Monday afternoon as he challenges the Australian government’s decision to cancel his visa.

Federal Court judge Anthony Kelly has set the hearing for 10am on Monday and ordered Djokovic not be deported until at least 4pm on that day.

The Serbian superstar’s case went before the court at 6pm on Thursday, where his lawyer Nick Wood pushed for an interim injunction order to prevent Djokovic being deported before the appeal hearing.

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