In his first reaction since being deported from Australia, Novak Djokovic showers praise on rival Rafael Nadal


Novak Djokovic on Sunday took to social media to congratulate rival Rafel Nadal after the Spaniard won his record 21st Grand Slam in the Australian Open final. This was the first time Djokovic shared a social media post since being deported from Australia earlier this month.

Congratulating his rival Nadal, the Serbian wrote, “Congratulations to @RafaelNadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time. Enhorabuena @Medwed33 gave it his all out there and played with the passion and determination we have come to expect from him.”

Djokovic, who had to spend several days at an immigration centre after arriving in Melbourne had later lost his appeal and was deported back to Serbia. An Australian court had first allowed him entry but Australia’s Immigration Minister had used his executive powers to overturn the court’s verdict. Djokovic had lodged an appeal but the court refused to provide him relief.

Djokovic also praised Ash Barty, who became the first Australian to win the Austrian Open trophy for 44 years. “There has been some outstanding tennis played at this year’s #AusOpen and the finals were exceptional. Congratulations to @ashbarty for an amazing performance in front of her home crowd and to Danielle Collins for an incredible tournament.”

Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer were level at 20 career Grand Slam before the start of the Australian Open. The Serbian, given number one seed, was favourite to win the tournament. But his unceremonious exit made Nadal’s chances bright even though he was seeded sixth.

Nadal fought back impressively after being two sets down against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev to win the five-set thriller. With his second Australian Open trophy, Nadal has now officially been crowned as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in world tennis.