NOVAK DJOKOVIC has been slammed by Rafael Nadal for not taking the Covid-19 vaccine amid a huge Australian Open row.
The Serbian star will held up in a detention centre until Monday after being denied entry into Oz despite being given a medical exemption.
He has flown in for the tennis tournament which starts on January 17 despite refusing to take the coronavirus jab.
Djokovic caused outrage after being given the pass, with Australia under strict quarantine and entry rules.
But border force have kept him near Melbourne Airport since last night after claiming he hasn't got the correct visa.
And Nadal – who is playing at a warm-up competition – has no sympathy for his fierce rival.
The Spaniard – who beat Ricardas Berankis yesterday – said: "It seems a rough situation.
"At the end of the day the only thing that I can say is we have been going through very challenging times and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with the pandemic
"I mean, it’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the case because they have been going through a lot of very hard lockdowns and a lot of people were not able to come back home.
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"From my point of view, that’s the only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who knows about medicine says, and if the people says that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine.
"I went through Covid. I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing.
"The only clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion has been suffering enough to not follow the rules."
A string of hugely positive studies have shown Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.
However, Nadal did have sympathy for the way Djokovic was being treated at the border after entering Australia amid a huge political storm.
He added: "I think if he wanted he would be playing here in Australia without a problem.
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"He went through another – he made his own decisions and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.
"Of course I don’t like the situation that is happening.
"In some way I feel sorry for him but at the same time he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he has made his own decision."
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