Grand Slam champions Serena Williams (USA) and Rafael Nadal (ESP) will star at A Day at the Drive, the official curtain raiser to the Australian summer of tennis in 2021.
The one-off event will be held at Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in Adelaide on Friday 29 January and will feature a total of eight players.
Williams and Nadal will be joined by Novak Djokovic (SRB), Dominic Thiem (AUT), Simona Halep (ROU) and Naomi Osaka (JPN), with further player announcements to be revealed in due course.
- ‘Roger Federer like Michael Jordan, Rafael Nadal like Lebron James’, says Matteo Berrettini | Eurosport
Likewise Jordan, James and Bryant are legends of their sport, and basketball fan Berrettini has drawn comparisons between the trios.
“The LeBron James of tennis? Nadal, in terms of physicality and why they both exploded [onto the scene] very young,” he told La Stampa.
“I would compare Federer to Michael Jordan. Djokovic reminds me of Kobe Bryant, for how he remains cold in difficult situations.”
“Ask me to pick between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and I just can’t do it,” Jenson Button added. “They are both just unbelievable sportsmen and we have been privileged to watch them down the years.
“It feels like they have been there forever and it is two decades that we have all been watching them. To see them so competitive at this stage of their careers is just amazing.
“When they both reach a final of a tournament, there is such great respect between them and it is a real thrill to see them go at it, given the history they have.”
- ‘I don’t care, I’m going to win this match’ – Rafael Nadal mindset ahead of Novak Djokovic trouncing revealed | tennishead.net
According to coach Moya, though, there was simply no stopping Nadal that day.
“When they come to tell us that the final will be played indoors, we wonder how we’re going to announce that to Rafa,” Moya explained.
“Fifteen minutes from the match, Francisco Roig told him so.
“And there, Rafa’s response was: “I don’t care, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to win this match.” Rafa had never said such a thing to me before a match!
“He knew he wouldn’t fail. Nadal is such a humble person. It wasn’t arrogance; it was a feeling of confidence, of security.”
VIDEO: Rafa Nadal practices with Roberto Bautista Agust in Mallorca