Serena Williams while in quarantine at Majestic Suites in North Adelaide. Picture: NCA NewsWire
Serena Williams while in quarantine at Majestic Suites in North Adelaide. Picture: NCA NewsWire

‘Many are dying’: Nadal’s swipe for whingeing rivals

Tennis superstars Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal have lauded the tough Australian quarantine laws which have divided the tennis community.

While many players have vented their outrage at the strict rules - particularly those in the hard 14-day lockdown - the two legends have enjoyed what has been perceived as preferential treatment in Adelaide.

Williams, who is seeking to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles at Melbourne Park, described the lockdown experience as "insane and super intense".

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"It's (quarantine rules) super, super strict. But, it's really good. So, Australia right now has, the last I heard, zero cases of Covid. So that is unbelievable, right? That is really amazing," she said.

"So, when we come here in Australia, everyone has to quarantine in a room for 14 days. It's insane and super intense but it's super good because after that you can have a new normal like we were used to last time this year in the United States."

Williams, 39, has her three-year-old daughter Olympia with her in Adelaide and is training alongside her older sister Venus.

"They're (Tennis Australia) doing it right. It's definitely hard with a three-year-old to be in the hotel all day," she told The Stephen Colbert Show.

"But, it's worth it because you want everyone to be safe at the end of the day."

Williams, the Open's No.10 seed, plays her first match out of quarantine against Naomi Osaka on Friday.

Nadal said he felt "privileged" to be playing in the Australian Open and called on fellow players to have a "wider perspective" on the quarantine situation.

The world No.2 has been criticised for not speaking out earlier on behalf of his fellow competitors who were struggling in the harsher Melbourne lockdown.

"I feel very sorry for all of them but when we came here, we knew that the measures were going to be strict because we knew that the country is doing great with the pandemic," Nadal told CNN.

"It's normal to complain … but on the other hand you see how many are dying around the world. You see how many people are losing their father, their mum, without having the chance to say goodbye.

"It's a real thing, not a philosophical thing, that's real life. That's what's happening in my country. Close people to me are suffering this situation.

"It's a different situation than usual, it's much more sad for everyone. But at least we're here, we're going to have a chance to play here.

"The world is suffering in general, so we can't complain. I feel that we are privileged people today, having the chance to keep doing our jobs."

Rafael Nadal, training in Adelaide, says he feels “privileged” to be playing at the Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal, training in Adelaide, says he feels “privileged” to be playing at the Australian Open.

The 34-year-old sits level with Roger Federer on 20 major titles, needing just one more to break the all-time record.

Federer withdrew from the Australian Open last month because of injury but Nadal says he's not obsessed with trying to claim the crown.

"I did much more than what I ever dreamt in my tennis career," Nadal said.

"It would be amazing for me to win one more.

"But I know that will not be the key for my happiness in the future. It's not extra pressure and it's not an obsession.

"I keep going, doing it my way. If it happens, fantastic, but if not, I'm more than happy about everything that happened to me."

Originally published as 'Many are dying': Nadal's swipe for whingeing rivals



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