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Perhaps Novak Djokovic’s biggest enemy on a tennis court, Rafael Nadal, pulled off an astonishing backflip amid his rival’s visa battle.

Nadal sent a direct message to Djokovic last week, saying “he has known the conditions for many months” and “there are consequences” of not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

But the former world No.1, who holds a record 20 Grand Slam titles with Djokovic and Roger Federer, has now expressed a radically different take on the fiasco.

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Nadal’s change of mind comes after Djokovic successfully challenged the Australian government’s visa cancellation tonight.

“Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on certain things, justice has spoken and said he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision of do it, if it was resolved that way. I wish him good luck, “Nadal told Spanish radio Onda Cero.

“On a personal level, I would much prefer he didn’t play!

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“It’s sport, a lot of interests circulate there, at the general level, at the economic level, advertising. Everything is much better when the best can play.”

But Nadal reiterated his firm views on the vaccination.

“The most important institutions in the world are saying that the vaccine is the way to stop this pandemic and the catastrophe that we have been living for 20 months,” Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal backs Novak Djokovic at Australian Open after win on the pitch

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