Novak Djokovic was unable to defend his title at the Australian Open due to the well-known events. The world number 1 was expelled from the country the day before the start of the Happy Slam, thanks to the discretion exercised by the Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke.
The three Federal Court judges confirmed the visa revocation order and the Serbian phenomenon had to postpone the assault on his tenth title at Melbourne Park. Also taking advantage of Nole’s absence, Rafael Nadal achieved a memorable ride 'Down Under' by winning the AO for the second time in his career.
Thanks to this triumph, the Spaniard overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to climb to 21 Majors. The Majorcan became the fourth man to have won all Slams at least twice, joining legends of the caliber of Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson.
Rafa will attempt the extension already at Roland Garros, waiting to see if Djokovic will be present in Paris or not. Interviewed by the Balkan tabloid 'Indeks.hr', Nikola Pilic partially de-legitimized Nadal's triumph in Melbourne.
Djokovic has had an unfortunate start to the 2022 season
"Congratulations from the bottom of my heart, what he has done has its weight, but this is not a real triumph because it was won without the best player in the world," Pilic said.
"Western media cannot accept that someone from the Balkans is the best in their sport…" Novak Djokovic has amassed a whopping 358 weeks as the World No. 1 on the ATP tour. And while 20-time Major winner Roger Federer is second best in that regard with 310 weeks to his name, Nadal has only spent 209 weeks as the World No.
1 during his career. “If we take the mutual score between the three of them, the number of weeks spent at number 1 and some other parameters, we will see that Novak is the best.," Pilic said. "Of course, the Spaniard will say that Nadal is the best, and some Serb will say that he is Novak, said Pilic.
"But if you ask John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors, then you will hear the real truth, and they have told it many times." Novak Djokovic has had an unfortunate start to the 2022 season. He was embroiled in a visa controversy after his arrival in Australia.
The Serb had received a vaccine exemption to defend his title Down Under. However, his visa was canceled, and he was subsequently detained at the Melbourne airport after failing to provide sufficient documents justifying his exemption.