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Rafael Nadal is “happy” after Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open visa decision

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Rafael Nadal (right) with Novak Djokovic (left)

Rafael Nadal (right) with Novak Djokovic (left)

In a dramatic series of events in 2022, Djokovic is detained and deported from Australia due to his unvaccinated Covid status.

Australian Open tennis champion Rafael Nadal on Thursday welcomed the decision to grant Serbian rival Novak Djokovic a visa that will enable him to compete in the 2023 event, calling it “the best possible news”.

In a dramatic series of events in 2022, Djokovic is detained and deported from Australia due to his unvaccinated Covid status.






He was initially banned by the then Conservative government from returning to Australia until 2025 but Australia’s new Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said that with a significant easing of pandemic restrictions, the nine-time champion was now welcome to return.

Nadal, who won the event in Djokovic’s absence, has 22 men’s Grand Slam singles titles to the Serb’s 21, with Australia next coming out of the annual Grand Slams.

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“I’ve always said the same thing: tennis is better when the best players are on the court,” Nadal said after his consolation victory over Casper Ruud at the ATP Finals in Turin.

“Roger (Federer) doesn’t play anymore. I missed a lot of Grand Slam tournaments because of injuries. And last year Novak wasn’t even able to play there,” said the Spanish clay team.

“This is my past. What’s next is that Novak will be able to play again.

“This is the best possible news, especially knowing that the virus is now under control – it seems – all over the world. So why not?”

“(I’m) happy for him. Happy for the championship. Happy for the fans. That’s it.”

The ATP Finals’ top seed, Nadal, in the absence of the injured world number one Carlos Alcaraz, withdrew from the pool stage despite his 7-5, 7-5 victory over Ruud on Thursday.

He had already been eliminated after losing his first two matches in the green group to Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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