Nadal is in the lead, players are annoyed by the Djokovic case

Nadal is in the lead, players are annoyed by the Djokovic case

By with AFP

Faced with the raising of the Djokovic case, the Australian Open players make no secret of their annoyance at the Serbian player’s behavior.

‘The Australian Open is more important than any player’: Rafael Nadal made no secret of his annoyance on Saturday, two days before the Australian Open, the first of the year’s Grand Slam tournament developed by the Novak Djokovic case.

“Novak Djokovic is clearly one of the best players in history […] But players come and go, no one, not even Roger (Federer), Novak, me… not even Bjorn Borg, stays. “Tennis keeps moving forward,” recalls Rafael Nadal.

Djoko, who is chasing a 10th win in Melbourne and a record 21st Grand Slam title, could be fired after a provisional hearing scheduled for Sunday in federal court.

“Talk about tennis”

Another player expected during this traditional “media day” before the tournament, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had had harsh words the day before in an Indian media against the Serbian, believing he was playing “by his own rules and achieving” the majority. Of the players they look like fools.” The world number four warned this time, “I’m here to talk about tennis, not Novak Djokovic.”

“I’m not going to lie. It’s been in the headlines for the past couple of weeks. It’s getting a lot of attention. It’s clear that a lot of people are talking about it.” […]. We haven’t talked enough about tennis in the past two weeks, which is a shame.”

Australian Alex de Minaur, who is ranked 32 in the world, admitted he was tired of this story, believing it was hurting the tournament and other players: “This situation has diverted a lot of the lights from us players. We are here to play the Australian Open.”

He remembers that “Australians have been through a lot” and “have had a very difficult time” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zverev and Soutin

“They put in a lot of effort to protect themselves and their borders,” he recalls, saying that to enter the country, “like all other players”, Djokovic must be “completely vaccinated”.

Near Djokovic, the German Alexander Zverev was one of the few who defended him, believing that he was being used as a scapegoat: “He is a big name, a world-class star, someone you can trust in the service,” the scientist lamented. .3. “I don’t know the issue very well,” he said, “but if it wasn’t for world number one Novak Djokovic, it wouldn’t be all a fuss.”

The day before, Andy Murray had hoped “everything would be sorted out” before the tournament started: “It’s like he’s been behind for a while now, it’s not great for tennis, not great at the Australian Open, not great for the Australian Open, not great,” said the Scot. Age 34 years old.

Former world number one Naomi Osaka described Djokovic’s case as “unfortunate”: “But I also think it’s not about the tennis players, it’s up to the government to decide how Australia will manage it,” concluded the Japanese, who has twice crowned in Melbourne, in 2019 and 2021.

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