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Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has served a brutal swipe at rival Novak Djokovic whose Australian Open title defence could be over before it even started.

Djokovic could be kicked out of the country within days after he arrived in Melbourne late Wednesday night without the right visa, which was rejected by border force officials.

As Djokovic’s team prepared to fight his case in the Federal Court, Nadal weighed into the saga on Thursday with a blatant shot at the world number one. 

The Spaniard is also in Melbourne to prepare for the grand slam, just weeks after he tested positive to Covid-19.

Nadal says Djokovic wouldn’t be in the predicament he’s in right now if he was vaccinated.

Rafael Nadal (pictured on Thursday) has weighed into Novak Djokovic's deportation drama

Rafael Nadal (pictured on Thursday) has weighed into Novak Djokovic's deportation drama

Rafael Nadal (pictured on Thursday) has weighed into Novak Djokovic’s deportation drama

 ‘What’s happening is not good for no one, in my opinion, the world number six said.

‘(It) is normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the (Djokovic) case, because they have been going through a lot of very hard lockdowns and a lot of people were not able to come back home.’

‘I believe in what the people who know about medicine say, and if the people say that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get vaccinated.

‘I went through COVID. I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing.

‘The rest of the things, I don’t want to have or to give to you an opinion that I don’t have the whole information. 

‘The only for me clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion has been suffering enough to not follow the rules.’ 

Djokovic will spend the next four days locked up in a refugee detention centre after the Federal Court adjourned his appeal to be let into the country ahead until Monday.

Nadal admits he feels ‘in some way’ sorry for his long-time rival but says Djokovic must face the consequences for his decisions.

‘I think if he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem,’ the Spaniard said.

Novak Djokovic (pictured with wife Jelena) will spend the next four days locked up in a refugee detention centre ahead of his appeal in the federal court

Novak Djokovic (pictured with wife Jelena) will spend the next four days locked up in a refugee detention centre ahead of his appeal in the federal court

Novak Djokovic (pictured with wife Jelena) will spend the next four days locked up in a refugee detention centre ahead of his appeal in the federal court

‘He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to make their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.

‘I don’t encourage nobody. Everyone has to do what they feel is good for them but there are rules and without the vaccine there can be some troubles.

‘He’s free to take his own position, but then there are 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.’

Nadal’s grand slam preparations got off to a strong start on Thursday by beating Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis in straight sets 6-2 7-5 to move into the final eight at the Melbourne Summer Set following a first round bye.

Novak Djokovic's (pictured) Australian Open title defence and quest to become the great tennis player of all time is in doubt

Novak Djokovic's (pictured) Australian Open title defence and quest to become the great tennis player of all time is in doubt

Novak Djokovic’s (pictured) Australian Open title defence and quest to become the great tennis player of all time is in doubt

Nadal and Djokovic are both vying to become the greatest men’s player of all time at the Melbourne Park grand slam with 20 titles each.

Fellow legend Roger Federer is also on 20 grand slam titles but will miss the Australian Open.

Nadal is on a mission to lift the Australian Open trophy for the just the second time after winning the grand slam in 2009.

The Australian Open begins  on January 17. 

Rafael Nadal spoke out about his long-time rival Novak Djokovic following his second round straight sets win in the Melbourne Summer Set on Thursday

Rafael Nadal spoke out about his long-time rival Novak Djokovic following his second round straight sets win in the Melbourne Summer Set on Thursday

Rafael Nadal spoke out about his long-time rival Novak Djokovic following his second round straight sets win in the Melbourne Summer Set on Thursday

Source: DailyMail

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