Nadal and Thiem play surprise exhibition match
Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem stepped up their preparations for the Australian Open with an exhibition match on Friday.
The encounter was somewhat surprising as it took place just one day after Thiem’s participation in the first Grand Slam of the year was thrown in doubt when as he pulled out of the Kooyong Classic.
Nadal, meanwhile, was looking for much-needed match practice after a bumpy build-up to the Aussie Open.
The two, though, had a good hitout at Margaret Court Arena, under a closed roof due to wet conditions, with Thiem winning the opening set before Nadal levelled things in the second.
They opted for a tiebreak deciding set and it was the world No 1 who prevailed 10-8.
Top seed Nadal will play world No 81 Victor Estrella Burgos in the first round of the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, while the fifth-seeded Thiem is up against Guido Pella from Argentina.
Five of the best men’s matches at the Australian Open featuring Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Rafael Nadal, and more
The matches that made us sit up and take note.
Five of the best women’s matches at Australian Open featuring Naomi Osaka vs Garbine Muguruza, and more
Five of the best women’s singles matches at the 2021 Aus Open.
Ashleigh Barty laments giving away control to Danielle Collins as she suffers defeat in Adelaide
Early exit for defending champion Ashleigh Barty.
Toni Nadal believes the pressure got to Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final
Daniil Medvedev felt the heat.
Serena Williams still believes she can win another Grand Slam and has no plans to retire just yet, says her coach
Serena Williams not ready to quit.
Novak Djokovic’s father hits out at Western media over their negative portrayal of his son
Srdjan Djokovic slams Western media.
Andy Murray’s Montpellier run shortlived as he suffers first-round exit
Andy Murray went down in straight sets.
Boris Becker ‘impressed’ by Nick Kyrgios, insists Australian has talent to ‘win Wimbledon at least once’
Boris Becker doffs his hat to Nick Kyrgios.
Fit-again Johanna Konta falls at the first hurdle in Adelaide as she loses against Shelby Rogers
The British No 1 has recovered from an abdominal injury.
Ashleigh Barty insists there is ‘no extra pressure’ over world No 1 ranking battle with Naomi Osaka
“Extra pressure is non-existent for me,” says Barty.