FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Tennis Players Federer And Nadal Mocking Djokovic?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Twitter purportedly shows tennis players Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer mocking fellow player Novak Djokovic after he was detained in Australia over his vaccination status.

Verdict: False

The video originally comes from a compilation of outtakes during the filming of a promotional video for an exhibition tennis match in 2010. It predates the COVID-19 pandemic and Djokovic’s detainment by many years.

Fact Check:

Australian authorities in early January canceled Djokovic’s visa and detained him at the Melbourne airport over his vaccination status and his claimed medical exemption, according to The New York Times. Djokovic was eventually allowed entry, but was later deported on Jan. 16 after a panel of judges upheld a second visa cancellation, according to BBC.

A Twitter video uploaded Jan. 6 allegedly shows Federer and Nadal mocking Djokovic. The video’s English subtitles attempt to suggest the two were making fun of Djokovic’s legal battle, as well as calling him a “dim-witted rat-licker” for his actions.

“Federer and Nadal react to the news of Djokovic being stuck at an airport in Melbourne (English subs),” reads the tweet’s text. (RELATED: Did Tennis Player Serena Williams Author This Viral Post About Being ‘Sick Of COVID-19’?)

Both the subtitles and the context of the video, however, are incorrect. A reverse image search revealed the video was originally published by investment firm Credit Suisse on its official YouTube channel in 2010 titled “Federer and Nadal: Fit of Laughter During Shooting.” The pair can be seen breaking into fits of laughter while filming a promotional video for their annual charity match, “The Match In Africa.” The video was also published on the Tennis TV Facebook page in 2017.

The original video featured Federer asking Nadal if he will give him anything for Christmas, to which Nadal replies he would play in an exhibition match against Federer in Switzerland. The outtakes show the two were laughing at the delivery of their lines. The video made no reference to COVID-19 or Djokovic’s detainment.

“Honestly I’m a little bit tired of the situation because I just believe that it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis,” Nadal said in regards to Djokovic, according to Express, adding that the Australian Open would be “great…with or without [Djokovic].”

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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