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Rafael Nadal -- Australian Open will be great 'with or without' Novak Djokovic


Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal's
view."Unlike Djokovic
Garbine Muguruza
Roger Federer
Stefanos Tsitsipas
Alex de Minaur
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Naomi Osaka


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Melbourne Park

the situation.""The Australian Open
Grand Slam
the Australian Open

Positivity     44.00%   
   Negativity   56.00%
The New York Times
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I don't think it's that difficult."For now, the No. 1-seeded Djokovic is scheduled to play Monday on Day 1 of the year's first major tournament, where both he and Nadal could claim a 21st Grand Slam trophy to break the men's mark they currently share with Roger Federer.Before that, though, Djokovic -- and, it seems, everyone else with any interest at all in tennis or the latest developments related in some way to the pandemic -- will wait to see what happens in a court hearing Sunday on his appeal of a second revocation of his visa by the Australian government.He could be deported."I won't lie: It has been pretty much on every news outlet the last couple of weeks. As it is, this time was destined to be a little different, given the noteworthy players who are absent for one reason or another, including Federer, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.But Nadal's return to Slam action for the first time since a semifinal loss to Djokovic in Paris in June is a big deal.So, too, is defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka's arrival with what she says is a fresh outlook after taking two mental health breaks in 2021, including one that ended her season in September.Given Osaka's frank revelations about depression and anxiety, it was meaningful Saturday when she broke into a full-on grin and joked around with reporters.Nadal said he's thrilled to be back on tour.

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