‘I prefer not to judge’ – Rafael Nadal refuses to be drawn into Novak Djokovic criticism

Rafael Nadal says he refuses to ‘judge’ Novak Djokovic over the Adria Tour after a magazine attempted to draw him into comment.

Djokovic arranged the Adria Tour at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last summer in an attempt to help raise money for players and charities in the Balkans.

He broke no laws or public health regulations, but he was criticised when a coronavirus outbreak put an early end to the event.

Asked specifically by Veja magazine for his thoughts on the so-called ‘reckless conduct’ of Novak Djokovic, Nadal said: “I prefer to talk about the way I have lived the past few months rather than to judge what others do.

“It was very difficult to see everything that was happening in the world and more specifically around me.

“We went through a very strict lockdown, we saw thousands of deaths. There were more than 50 thousand between April and June in Spain.

“I didn’t have the strength to do anything, I could only worry about the situation.

Nadal’s answer follows the pattern of it generally being very difficult to draw him to comment on the more political issues in tennis.

In that sense he is the polar opposite of Djokovic, but he says that keeping his own counsel is a deliberate choice on his part.

“I am obviously aware of the political situation and I talk a lot about it with my friends and my team.

“I am informed and have my personal opinions, just like any other citizen.

“But I also know that if I start talking about politics, much of what I say will be taken out of context. That would make me very uncomfortable.

“So, I choose not to talk about politics in public, even though I believe I have the right to express myself.”

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