Rafael Nadal’s thinly veiled jibe after Novak Djokovic quarantine pleas: ‘Some of us help each other privately’

Australian Open
Rafael Nadal unimpressed

Rafael Nadal has defended his and other top players’ decision not to publicly address the quarantine debacle in Australia, saying “some of us don’t need or want to advertise when we help the most disadvantaged players”.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner’s comments came on the back of world No 1 Novak Djokovic’s controversial letter to Australian Open organisers and government officials about the hard lockdown rules for players in Melbourne.

Djokovic sent a list of requests to authorities asking for better food for those in quarantine as well as “private houses with tennis courts” for those affected.

However, there was a backlash from Australians and the Serbian later issued a statement defending himself against allegations of being “selfish, difficult and ungrateful”.

“But I find the silence of Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal stranger. Novak, at least, showed good intentions.”

In an interview with ESPN, world No 2 Nadal appeared to take a pot shot and Djokovic, saying: “We all try to help each other.

“Some need to make public all they do to try to help others, while some of us do it privately without publishing our calls or making propaganda with it.

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

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Nadal as well as Djokovic and Thiem are self-isolating in Adelaide ahead of an exhibition event and many believe they have an unfair advantage over those in Melbourne.

However, the Spaniard feels it is a bit more complicated.

“It is understandable, respectable. Where is the line of privileges? I have a different view,” he said.

“Here in Adelaide our conditions have been better than most of the conditions in Melbourne, but some Melbourne players have larger rooms where they can perform physical activities, others smaller rooms where they cannot have contact with their coach or physical trainer. Where is the line?

“I have not heard any Melbourne players complain that they have a better room or about those who have been confined without being able to train.

“I have not seen those who complain so much about our conditions in Adelaide say, ‘Why are there not equal conditions, now we will all go without training’.

“You always look up, always complain about a disadvantageous position.”

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