Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic cancel planned exhibition match in Saudi Arabia

A planned exhibition match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Saudi Arabia has been called off.

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Rafa and Nole were due to take part in a one-off exhibition contest in Jeddah on December 22. They committed to the event over a year ago and were under pressure to pull out after Amnesty International condemned the plans following the recent death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Serb told BBC Sport on Friday:

Nadal is injured, so the match is not happening this year.

Thankfully, the exhibition match is finally cancelled. And let’s be honest we all know it’s not just because of Rafa’s injury and Nole is likely to face more questions about the situation in the coming days. Anyway, it was a safe excuse to do the right thing.

Source: BBC


  1. Every year in December we take a little break from posting on RNF website. This year I needed a longer break. That’s all. I’m glad to know you’re still here. Thank you all for your loyalty. All the way with Rafa!

    • May I wish you a very Happy New Year,and thank you for your work,on Rafael Nadal Fans.My wish for 2019 is that this year will be the best yet.One thing I know is that both Rafa and Rafael Nadal Fans will give of their very best.Love you both.Vamos 🎾🇪🇸

    • Thank you for clearing up the misunderstanding, as we thought you’d gone for good. Glad to know you’re back in business 👍🏼

  2. Don’t get me wrong Jas_uk, I realise that running an (unofficial) fan site takes a lot of time, effort and money and the organisers have done a great job over the years, attracting so much interest. They aren’t obliged to continue, but communication is a two way thing and it would have been courteous just to let fans know that they can no longer run it instead of leaving them in the dark. It would have also given us the opportunity of thanking them, in advance, for their effort (and I do thank them).

    Of course, I will continue to support Rafa whenever and wherever I can, as I have throughout most of his career. As I’ve already said, I wish Rafa and his team a very successful 2019. Incidentally, does anyone know what tv channel is showing the Mubadala tennis exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi or how else it can be viewed?

    • Thanks for your diplomatic post. I was going to respond to Jas_uk’s comment but it would probably not have been diplomatic so I decided against commenting.

      I too feel that it would have been nice had the group who was running RNF’s blog told us that they were unable to continue doing so. Just common courtesy. And yes, I realize how time consuming it is. I myself, and I am sure other fans, know what it takes to run a website such as RNF. And without remuneration.

      And since I joined there were two different groups running it. The first one was strict about postings and hardly had any ads. This last group was not so strict and there were a gazillion ads when I used my mobile.

      I thought the site had been hacked and they didn’t want to inform fans. RNF Facebook did post last Friday but didn’t say anything about dissolving RNF.com.

      There is a YouTube Rafa channel. I have no idea who runs it.

      In any event, wishing Rafa’s abandoned fans a great New Year.


  3. I don’t think anyone should criticise people who run (unofficial) fan sites, It entirely voluntary and takes time, effort and money, with usually not much reward apart from seeing other fans participate.

    Whatever happens around fan sites, we need to remain positive in our thoughts about Rafa and send him all our support and every possible good wish in any way we can.

    Today he travelled to Abu Dhabi to compete in the Mubadala Tennis Champtionships, an exhibition event that will form part of his warm up for the Australian Open. The tournament begins tomorrow, but Rafa is scheduled to play his first match on Friday, against either Kevin Anderson or Hyeon Chung. Novak Djokovic could be Rafa’s opponent should both reach the final to be played on Saturday. Vamos Rafa!!

  4. I was wondering why this website wasn’t posting any news about Rafa. I agree that it’s very direspectful to just switch off all communication with fans without any warning or explanation. Why, why, why? Shocking! I’ve enjoyed the conversation with Rafa fans here, so thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and views and i hope to meet up with you on an alternative site. Meanwhile, i wish Rafa and his team lots of sucess in 2019. Have a happy New Year folks!

    • Happy new year to you too Lorna and everyone else my fellow Rafa fans.

      It’ll be sad for RNF to turn to dust. I wonder what the issue is, but thanks for providing the platform whoever has been running it all this while.

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