Nadal takes veiled swipe at Djokovic over Australian Open quarantine

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Guardian sport
·2 min read
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<span>Photograph: Morgan Sette/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Morgan Sette/Reuters

Rafael Nadal has responded to criticism of his silence on the ongoing imbroglio over Australian Open quarantine conditions with a veiled swipe at Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic has courted controversy over the past week for publicly lobbying Tennis Australia and the Victorian state government to loosen restrictions for the 72 overseas players forced into hard quarantine after traveling on flights with confirmed positive coronavirus cases.

But it was Nadal who became the target of criticism from Argentinian player Guido Pella, who described his silence as “strange” last week.

“Djokovic’s balcony is bigger than my room but at least he said something,” Pella said. “I’m surprised with Nadal and Thiem’s silence.”

Related: Australian Open buildup shows no sport handling pandemic as clumsily as tennis | Tumaini Carayol

Nadal, the 20-times grand slam champion who is keeping his own quarantine in Adelaide, hit back at those criticisms in an interview with ESPN on Monday and appeared to reference Djokovic.

“Some need to make public all these things they do for others, some of us do it in a more private way without having to publicize everything,” Nadal told ESPN.

“The calls we make to help the most disadvantaged players, some of us don’t need or want to advertise it.”

Nadal went on to address the alleged favoritism shown to the top players who have been placed in the separate Adelaide bubble.

“There has been talk that Adelaide people have better conditions, but I have not heard from any Melbourne player that some have much better rooms than others,” he explained.

“I have not seen some of those who have complained so much about the conditions in Adelaide complaining about the conditions of the more than 20 players who have not practiced.

“Complaints always come from a disadvantaged position. At the time of talking about fair play or equal conditions, people don’t tend to complain about the position of those who are worse off than them.

“In the end we all try to get the most out of our possibilities and help each other.”