Rafael Nadal said he ‘can’t complain’ about the Australian Open quarantining conditions considering the toll the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on his home country and across the world.
Of more than 1200 players, coach and officials to fly into Australia ahead of the Australian Open, 72 were forced into hard quarantine after being aboard flights with confirmed positive coronavirus cases.
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Many players have been vocal about the conditions of quarantine leading up to the Australian Open, which has prompted backlash from the Australian public.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic attempted to garner better conditions for those in hard lockdown with an email to Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley, which was swiftly rejected.
Nadal remained silent throughout his own quarantine in Adelaide, until this week where the Spaniard claimed he preferred to keep any concerns under wrap.
But in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Nadal offered a reality check for many players hitting out the two weeks hard quarantine.
He also empathised with the Australian public and its hard stance on quarantine claiming he understands why players entering the country need to obey the rules.
“Of course it is a different situation than usual, much more sad for everyone, but at least we are here and we are going to have a chance to play,” he said on CNN.
“The world is suffering in general, so we can’t complain. We can only say thanks to Tennis Australia and the Australian community for welcoming us and accepting us.
“I know they have been under very strict measures for a lot of months, so for us it is good we can keep playing tennis.”
Before the Australian Open, @RafaelNadal is quarantining in his hotel like his fellow competitors. But he tells me "we can’t complain."
"You see how many are dying around the world… how many people are losing their father, their mum, without having the chance to say goodbye." pic.twitter.com/29wMrrQ0xC
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) January 26, 2021
Nadal offers players reality check
When asked about some of the players that are complaining, Nadal offered his sympathy for the players in hard lockdown, but also offered a glimpse of the bigger picture.
He said people close to him in Spain are suffering and said 14 days is minuscule in the grand scheme of things.
“Of course it is not an ideal situation, of course I feel very sorry for all of them,” Nadal added.
“But when we came here we knew the measures would be strict because we knew the country is doing great with the pandemic.
“Australia is probably one of the best examples in the world on how to react during these challenging times.
“It is normal to complain. But on the other hand, when you have a little bit of a wider perspective of what is going on in the world, you have to think ok I am not happy to be in my room for 14 days without having the chance to practice,’” he said.
“But on the other hand, you see how many are dying around the world… how many people are losing their father, their mum, without having the chance to say goodbye.
“So when you see all of this you have to stay a little bit more positive.”
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