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If Novak Djokovic doesn't play Australian Open 2022, Rafael Nadal is going to be "foaming at the mouth": Andy Roddick

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the 2019 Australian Open
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the 2019 Australian Open
Stan
ANALYST

Novak Djokovic's participation at the 2022 Australian Open continues to hang in the balance after Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley recently confirmed that unvaccinated players would not be allowed to take part in the event.

Djokovic was recently asked to comment on the announcement during one of his press conferences at the ATP Finals. The Serb remained tight-lipped regarding his vaccination status and maintained the air of mystery surrounding his participation.

"We'll see. We'll have to wait and see," Novak Djokovic said. "I haven't been talking to them, to be honest. I was just waiting to hear what the news is going to be. Now that I know, we'll just have to wait and see."

In this context, Andy Roddick recently opined that Rafael Nadal would be itching at the chance to win the record-breaking 21st Major in the absence of nine-time champion Djokovic.

Speaking on the Tennis Channel, Roddick pointed out that it is impossible to gauge Djokovic's decisions and intentions with regards to the 2022 Australian Open.

"We don’t know what’s going to happen with Australia,” former world No. 1 Andy Roddick said on Tennis Channel. “Nobody knows except Novak what he’s going to do and if he’s going to play the game the way it has to be played to participate in Australia."

However, in the event that the World No. 1 is forced to skip the Grand Slam where he has found most success, the American believes players such as Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev will fancy their chances.

The former US Open champion also asserted that Rafael Nadal would back himself a lot more to clinch his 21st Major.

“If he doesn’t, opportunity’s knocking for Medvedev, Zverev, Rafa’s going to be foaming at the mouth to get there and get to that 21st Slam so these other guys, they have to play their tournament either way," Roddick added.

Despite his dominance across the Calendar, Rafael Nadal has won the Australian Open just once (2009). He has lost four finals in Melbourne, two of which were against Djokovic.

"We're seeing the transition": Andy Roddick

Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals
Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

During the conversation, Andy Roddick also expressed his thoughts on the passing of the torch in men's tennis.

Roddick pointed out that in the months prior to this year's US Open, people were most interested in who would be the first among the NextGen to win a Slam.

Now that Daniil Medvedev has won his first Major, the American believes the conversation should revolve around how long Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer have left on tour.

"We used to say who’s the next generation that’s going to compete for Grand Slams,” Roddick said. “Well they’re here, they’re doing it, they’re winning big titles, now it’s how long is the Big 3 going to hang on and be part of this conversation. We’re seeing the transition.”

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
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