'A bit selfish': Rafa Nadal speaks out amid Novak Djokovic furore

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Seen here, tennis rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, from left to right.
Rafael Nadal has weighed in on the vaccination debate that World No.1 Novak Djokovic has found himself at the centre of. Pic: Getty

Rafael Nadal has weighed in on the tennis vaccination debate that is raging on around the world after describing those who choose not to vaccinated as "selfish".

The topic has dominated the build-up to next year's Australian Open, with World No.1 Novak Djokovic right at the centre of it.

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Djokovic is yet to confirm whether he's vaccinated or not but insists it's his right to keep such information private.

The Serb's stance has led to widespread speculation that Djokovic has not been vaccinated - a scenario that would effectively rule him out of the Australian Open based on Victoria's Covid-19 rules.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has made it clear that unvaccinated players won't be allowed entry in Melbourne Park, even if they have completed 14 days of quarantine.

Nadal - who received his jabs at the earliest opportunity - says he cannot understand the argument against vaccination.

“I understand that there are people who do not want to be vaccinated, but it seems a bit selfish to me,” Nadal told Marca. 

“We have suffered a lot.”

“We do not know 100 percent the effects of vaccines, but we do have to trust the doctors… we do know the effect of the virus if we are not vaccinated.

“It seems that today we [Spain] are the country that is least affected by the virus and I think it is because we have a large part of the population vaccinated.”

Fellow tennis star Nick Kyrgios also added his voice to the debate this week, but was forced backflip on his controversial comments that the Australian Open should be cancelled to protect the safety of Victoria's citizens.

Kyrgios copped backlash from government officials, fans and past and present players, and backtracked on his comments on Tuesday afternoon.

Nick Kyrgios backflips over Aus Open comments 

The 26-year-old suddenly agreed with Victoria's Premier that unvaccinated tennis stars shouldn't be welcomed at the Melbourne major starting on January 17.

"Obviously I don't want the Australian Open cancelled," Kyrgios said in an Instagram post.

"To say I want it cancelled is not what I meant.

"But, at the same time, I want it done correctly and I'm sure Tennis Australia and the City of Melbourne will be looking out for people's best interests when the Australian Open goes ahead."

Pictured left, Nick Kyrgios alongside a photo of tennis rival Novak Djokovic.
Nick Kyrgios this week threw his support behind Novak Djokovic's vaccination stance. Pic: Getty

And after initially supporting Djokovic's right to contest the Open if not fully vaccinated, the Canberran changed his tune.

"It's more so for the people of Melbourne, who have gone through hell and back," Kyrgios said.

"I think it's been 275 days, nearly 300 days of lockdown and your freedom has been taken away from you.

"I don't think it's morally right to accept players from overseas that are not vaccinated to come into our country and waltz around Melbourne free-will to play the Australian Open.

"I don't think that's right but for players who are vaccinated.

"It's an amazing opportunity to get the city of Melbourne and the people of Australia back together for an amazing sporting event with so much rich history where I've had most of my favourite sporting memories.

"I just want it to be done the right way. I want things to be prioritised. I want mental health and people's safety to be looked after."

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