Tennis fans back Australian government and Rafael Nadal in Novak Djokovic saga

Johnson questioned on Djokovic competing in Wimbledon

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Express Sport readers have thrown their support behind the Australian government in the saga involving Novak Djokovic’s visa. They have also backed Rafael Nadal to win his first Australian Open since 2009. 

Djokovic was initially granted a medical exemption to take part in the tournament this month because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.  

But upon landing in Melbourne, Djokovic was detained in a state-run immigration facility and threatened with deportation. The 34-year-old’s visa was revoked immediately. 

Djokovic appealed the decision and on Monday a judge ruled that he should be allowed to remain in the country.  

The world No 1’s family held a tense press conference later on Monday to thank fans. His mum, Dijana, insisted that her son had been ‘tortured’ and ‘harassed’. 

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Djokovic, who practiced on a Melbourne court during the briefing, tweeted: “I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen 

“I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans. 

“For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong.” 

However, Express Sport readers have backed the Australian government despite the judge’s verdict. 

In a poll, an incredible 79 per cent of fans believe Djokovic should have his visa revoked. The poll received 31,525 responses.  

Only 19 per cent believe he should be allowed to participate and two per cent are unsure.  

Meanwhile, Nadal has been backed to win the tournament. The Spaniard is tied on 20 Grand Slams with Djokovic and Roger Federer but fans believe he will move ahead of the duo.  

Nadal received 43 per cent of the 27,239 overall votes, with Daniil Medvedev in second with 19 per cent. Djokovic earned 15 per cent of the vote.  

“If he wanted, he would be playing without a problem,” Nadal said last week.

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“He has taken his own position and everybody is free to take their position. But there are consequences. I don’t like the situation. In some ways, I feel sorry for him. 

“But he knew the conditions months ago. He made his own decision.” 

However, Nadal has since said that he believes Djokovic has the right to defend his title in Melbourne this month. 

“Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision to do so, if it has been resolved that way. I wish him the best of luck,” Nadal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. 
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