Rafael Nadal says the Australian Open ‘will be great’ with or without Novak Djokovic.
But while all the media coverage has focused on Djokovic, Nadal believes the Australian Open is ‘much more important than any player,’ and backs the tournament for success.
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“The Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him,” he said.
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.”
Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer are currently tied on 20 Grand Slams each.
Should Djokovic defend his Australian Open title, he will become the outright most successful men’s tennis player of all time.
And Nadal says that, while he disagrees with Djokovic, he is still full of respect for the 34-year-old.
‘No player is more important than an event’ – Nadal on Djokovic and Australian Open
“As a person, of course, and as an athlete, without a doubt,” he added.
“I really respect him, even if I don’t agree with a lot of the things that he did the last couple of weeks.”
Nadal begins his quest for a first Australian Open title since 2009 against American Marcos Giron on Monday.
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