Toni Nadal: Novak Djokovic No. 1 because Rafael Nadal missed so much time

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Toni Nadal: Novak Djokovic No. 1 because Rafael Nadal missed so much time

Toni Nadal showed a bit empathy to Novak Djokovic for what happened in Australia but then reportedly said that the Serb is ranked at No. 1 only because Rafael Nadal missed a significant number of time in 2021. Djokovic didn't want to get vaccinated before the start of the season but applied for a medical exemption and was granted one.

After landing in Australia, Djokovic was met by the Australia Border Force. After getting interrogated, Djokovic's visa was canceled and he was detained. Djokovic eventually got his visa back but was deported from the country after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised his powers to revoke the visa of the world No.

1. "It's a shame that a number one like Djokovic has to go out and testify because of this situation. It's something that has to be done, you have to comply with the rules,” Toni reportedly told Buenos Aires’ Radio 10, as quoted on

Nadal won in the Djokovic absence

Nadal, who played in only one event in the second half of the 2021 season, took advantage of Djokovic's absence from the Australian Open and won a record 21st Grand Slam title. “Today the best is the Serbian but it is because Rafa has not participated as much," Toni said.

Recently, Toni explained how Nadal was taught to work hard and to never complain. "My nephew had the obligation, instilled by me at the beginning, assumed by him later, to not complain, to enter the court every day in good spirits, to accept that things do not go well immediately and to assume the difficulties as much as possible," Toni noted.

"He accepted the demand, absolutely every day of all the years, to enter the court with a good spirit, not break a racket, train longer than expected. But above all to understand & accept that even if we did all this, things would not necessarily turn out well." Nadal is expected to return to action in Acapulco, while Djokovic is set to start his season in Dubai.