Rafael Nadal stopped short of encouraging Novak Djokovic to change his stance on the Covid vaccine but did admit that if the world No 1 got his jab, all his current problems would go away.
Djokovic is currently embroiled in legal proceedings against the Australian authorities after they cancelled his visa on Wednesday night.

The defending Australian Open champion and nine-time winner in Melbourne had been granted an exemption from the tournament’s vaccination requirement on medical grounds, but is understood to have presented the wrong type of visa to border authorities when he landed in Australia.

It puts his participation in the first grand slam of the season in doubt, where he is hoping to move top on his own of the all-time grand slam list, ahead of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who is already in Australia having been twice vaccinated against Covid-19.

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“If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing,” Nadal said on Thursday after victory over Ricardas Berankis in Melbourne.

“I think if [Djokovic] wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem.

“Everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.

“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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