“Who Am I To Create A Different Opinion?”: Rafael Nadal Speaks About Health Mandates Ahead of Australian Open 2022

Published 12/18/2021, 2:49 AM EST
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 1: Rafael Nadal (ESP) speaks with press on Media Day ahead of the 2021 Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on August 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Lawrence/ISI Photos/Getty Images)


20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is looking forward to the 2022 tennis season. Earlier in August, his persistent left foot injury forced him to exit the 2021 tour. However, the Spaniard finally returned to tennis this week in Abu Dhabi.

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Today, he voiced his opinion on one of the most contentious issues surrounding the Australian Open 2022. Speaking about the mandate around the first Grand Slam of next year, Rafael Nadal talked about vaccinations.

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Rafael Nadal listens to health organizations

Rafael Nadal‘s return to tour was much anticipated this week. However, it was not the most ideal. Sadly, he lost to Andy Murray in their semi-final at the Mubadala Tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after a play against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Tennis Australia has announced that only vaccinated players can play in the Australian Open. In fact, at the center of these discussions is World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, owing to his stance on the subject. Djokovic has claimed that getting the jab is a matter of ‘personal choice’, and shouldn’t be mandatory. Thus, Djokovic has not revealed his vaccination status to the public.

On the other hand, Rafael Nadal has a different perspective on the matter. He claims he is in no position to question health mandates laid down by authorities, and wouldn’t wish to pretend that he knows more than experts.

“I am not with or without, I am just following what the organization of health says,” Nadal stated. “I don’t pretend to know more than the authorized people say. If the people who really know about this say that we need to be vaccinated, who am I to create a different opinion?”

Nadal remains optimistic about his game

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After a straight-set defeat against Andy Murray, Nadal spoke about feeling good about his game. He expressed satisfaction with his overall performance. After all, he had not played on the highest level in a very long time.

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Next up, Nadal will face Canadian star Denis Shapovalov to conclude his stint in Abu Dhabi. The Spaniard now has his sights set on Melbourne, where the 2022 tennis season will officially kick off with the build-up to the Australian Open.

DIVE DEEPER: WATCH: Naomi Osaka, Nick Kyrgios, and Other Tennis Stars Sweating it Out Ahead of Australian Open 2022

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Samarveer Singh

235 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. A collegiate athlete himself, he admires all sportspersons who put in the work in order to achieve excellence.

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