WATCH: Tennis is back and Rafael Nadal is leading the charge as he beats Dominic Thiem

Rafael Nadal smiling

It has taken plenty of organisation over the last few weeks, but tennis is back and it is back with a bang.

While it seemed like the plans required to get the world’s best players down to Australia and entertaining the world once more seemed challenging, the quarantine period is now over and the first glimpsed of action whetted the appetite for more.

World No 2 Rafael Nadal got tennis back underway as he beat US Open champion Dominic Thiem in an entertaining exhibition match in Adelaide, with the 20-time Grand Slam champion serving up some memorable moments in his 7-5, 6-4 victory in front of a packed-out stadium.

The sight of maskless crowds back in the stands warmed the heart and Nadal paid tribute to Australia for getting a grip of the pandemic and driving Covid-19 out of their country.

“The last two weeks have been great, of course it is not ideal to stay 14 days under quarantine but that is the way we need to do things,” said Nadal.

“We can’t thank enough Tennis Australia for all the positive things they do for us. It has been amazing to be here in Adelaide for the first time in our lives.

“It has been a hard year for all the world. In Spain, we have been hit very hard by the virus, but Australia is an exampe of how to deal with the pandemic so congratulations.

“It has been amazing to play again in front of you guys, we have missed you a lot.

“I hope to have the right preparation for the Australian Open, I won there in 2009 but almost everybody has forgotten about that. I have been training hard and this year I will keep trying my best.”

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