‘The Australian Open will be great with or without Novak Djokovic,’ says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal says he is ‘tired’ of the Novak Djokovic situation and the Australian Open will be great whether or not the world number one competes.

Nadal and Djokovic are currently tied, along with Roger Federer, on 20 Grand Slam titles each, making them the most successful male tennis players of all time.

It was expected that the pair would face each other in the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open which starts on Monday, but any potential on-court news has been overshadowed this week with the controversy surrounding Djokovic’s visa cancellation.

The debate over whether Djokovic should be allowed to play or not has dominated tennis for the last week with almost every player being asked to comment on the situation during their press conferences including Nadal.

And while the Spaniard has admitted to not always agreeing with the decisions of Djokovic, he says he does respect him greatly.

“As a person, of course, and as an athlete, without a doubt,” Nadal said.

“I really respect him, even if I don’t agree with a lot of the things that he did the last couple of weeks.”

However, Nadal says its time for the media to start focusing on the tennis rather than the off-court drama and that no individual player is bigger than the tournament.

“The Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him,” said Nadal.

“I think the situation has gone too far. Honestly I’m a little bit tired of the situation because I just believe that it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis.”

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