Case-Djokovic causes resentment among players: ‘He is not more important than the tournament’ | Sport

The tennis players participating in the Australian Open are done with the situation surrounding Novak Djokovic. The riot around the Serb overshadows the run-up to the first grand slam tournament of the year. “It’s very clear that Novak Djokovic is one of the best tennis players ever,” Rafael Nadal said at a press conference in Melbourne. “But no player is more important than a tournament, right?”

“Players come and go,” continues the Spaniard, who lost the final in Melbourne to Djokovic in 2012 and 2019. “Whether it’s Roger, Novak, me or Björn Borg who was great in his day, tennis always goes on.”

According to Nadal and many other tennis players, attention should be focused on the Australian Open instead of the case around Djokovic, which has been dragging on for a week and a half. On Sunday it should finally become clear whether the number 1 in the world will participate in the tournament from Monday or whether he will be expelled from the country.

,,The Australian Open is much more important than one player. If he ends up playing, ok. If he doesn’t play, it’s going to be a great Australian Open,” said Nadal. “I’m getting a little tired of the whole situation. It’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis.”

Rafael Nadal during a training session in Melbourne, where the Australian Open starts on Monday. © AFP

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world’s number 4, said earlier in the week that Djokovic “makes his own rules”. The Greek tennis player did not want to add much more on Saturday. ,,I’m here to talk about tennis, not Novak Djokovic. But I won’t lie. It has been in the news constantly for the past few weeks. This case has gotten a lot of attention, a lot of people are talking about it. That’s why I’m here to talk about tennis, because it hasn’t been discussed enough in recent weeks and that’s a shame.”

According to the Australian Alex de Minaur, the Djokovic case is causing resentment among the players. “The whole situation has taken the attention away from the participants. We are here to play the Australian Open. If you want to enter the country, you must be double vaccinated. It was up to him, it’s his choices,” said De Minaur about Djokovic.

Naomi Osaka, the women’s defending champion, knows what it feels like to be the center of a riot. The Japanese decided to boycott the media last year prior to Roland Garros. Osaka eventually withdrew as a result of all the fuss. “This is an unfortunate situation,” Osaka said. ,,Novak is a great tennis player and it is quite sad that some people now remember him mainly because of this. I know what it’s like to be in a situation like that, when all the questions are about you and you read comments from other players about you. That’s not nice.”

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Case-Djokovic causes resentment among players: ‘He is not more important than the tournament’ | Sport
Source link Case-Djokovic causes resentment among players: ‘He is not more important than the tournament’ | Sport

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