WATCH: Tennis is back and Rafael Nadal is leading the charge as he beats Dominic Thiem
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.”
Iga Swiatek relaxed as she returns to happy hunting ground
Iga Swiatek says she is prepared for the day her winning streak is broken.
Wimbledon doubles down on Russian ban despite stripping of ranking points
Wimbledon organisers said they ‘made the only viable decision’.
Peng Shuai latest: IOC says she is ‘looking forward to visiting Europe’
Peng’s safety and freedom has been a concern since she appeared to allege in a social media post that she had been sexually assaulted.
Novak Djokovic and Emma Raducanu facing huge rankings drop after Wimbledon decision
Djokovic is almost certain to lose his No.1 ranking.
Comment – Why the removal Wimbledon’s ranking points could backfire on the ATP and WTA
Wimbledon has been stripped of its ATP ranking points following the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players.
Wimbledon didn’t want to ‘risk safety of players’ or ‘success being used as propaganda by Russian regime’
Wimbledon has hit back at the ATP and WTA with a statement of their own.
WTA statement as women’s body also strips Wimbledon of ranking points over Russian player ban
WTA also has harsh words for Wimbledon after stripping grass-court major of ranking points.
ATP statement: Wimbledon slammed for ‘undermining integrity of the ATP Ranking system’
ATP unimpressed by Wimbledon.
Wimbledon thrown into chaos as ATP strips Slam of ranking points over Russian and Belarusian player ban
Big, big news as players won’t earn points for competing at Wimbledon.
Iga Swiatek made French Open favourite by former British No 1 Tim Henman
Tim Henman has been impressed by the progress in Iga Swiatek’s game.