Rafael Nadal did not want to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs involving Novak Djokovic's deportation from Australia. However, the Spaniard says that it would have been better for the tournament if the world number one was allowed to compete at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The world number six started his campaign with a routine 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over American Marcos Giron on Monday to move into the second round of the tournament. Despite being the only member of the "Big Three" at the tournament, Nadal is coming into the tournament on the back of a lengthy injury absence.

"When you get a little bit older, all the comebacks are tougher," Nadal said after his win over Giron. "This has been especially difficult because it is not only a comeback from an injury, it's a comeback trying to be back on the tour after almost two years of not playing many events with the virus," as per Lorenzo Ercoli.

If you go through the seedings, Nadal would have come up against Djokovic in the semifinals of the Australian Open. The Serbian player's absence is certainly a boost for the likes of Nadal and Alexander Zverev, who are both in the same half, but the 20-time men's singles Grand Slam champion said that it would have been better if his fellow Grand Slam record holder could have played.

Rafael Nadal
"The only for me clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere," said Rafael Nadal on Thursday Mike FREY/AFP

"The ideal situation in the world of sport (is) that the best players are on court and playing the most important events, without a doubt," Nadal added, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "If Novak Djokovic is playing here, it's better for everybody, no doubt about that."

While Nadal was not keen to get into a debate about the Djokovic saga, he believes the world number one is not the only person to blame for the "visa mess." The Serbian's visa was cancelled for the second time and he has since been deported and is facing a potential three-year ban from Australia.

Rafael #Nadal full quotes about #Djokovic.#AO2022 #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/oMoYetMK55

— Lorenzo Ercoli (@Ladal17) January 17, 2022

"I wish Novak all the best. I think the situation has been a mess. He's not the only one that did bad things. There are more people responsible for this terrible situation that we have faced over the last two weeks. But he is one of the people responsible," the former world number one added.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are on collision course in the French Open Thomas SAMSON/AFP