Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in front of fans

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal beat Austrian Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-4 in an exhibition match in front of 4,000 fans in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open.

After the match, Rafa said:

It’s been a very hard year for all the world in general. For us in Spain, we were hit very hard by the virus. We’re still in a very tough situation. I think Australia is a very positive example of how to control the virus.

I’m still passionate about the sport. I never dreamed about being where I am. Super happy, enjoying every single moment I’m able to keep competing.


  1. Perth is currently in lockdown after a security guard at a quarantine hotel became infected. Four people at the hotel have either the UK variant or the one from S. Africa.

    The Australian city of Perth was ordered into lockdown after a security guard working in a quarantine hotel tested positive for COVID-19.

    • They really mean business over there.

      Here we have deniers like Peter Polansky who says it’s only the flu and we are all sheep for following masking rules.

      Seeing as he was chosen to be Captain of Canada’s ATP Cup team sadly can’t bring myself to cheer for my home country this time.

      • I agree. Australia has done a great job 👏

        Pauline, we have a lot more deniers here in the US……🤦‍♀️

    • What’s doubly troubling is, in my opinion, that those four cases are infected with the more virulent novel coronavirus. I’m wondering if any were asymptomatic.

      About the deniers, I lost count of how many times I’ve been accused of being brainwashed for wearing a mask.

  2. Great match, healthy body and mind, that’s my champion, keep up the goid work Rafa, happy to see u again in court, give themta big Vaca mos in the ATP cup and the Aus side Open, good luck oncemore champ

  3. FYI there are only [depending where you are located] one to two days left to enter the ATP CUP Bracket Challenge.

    Picks must be made before the tournament begins 10 a.m. 2 February in Melbourne. That is 11 p.m. 1 February in London and 6 p.m. 1 February in New York.. No changes can be made after the first ball has been struck.

    You’ll be competing against tennis fans worldwide for the grand prize — a trip for two to the 2022 ATP Cup, complete with semi-final and final tickets, a backstage tour and meeting with an ATP Tour player. You can also set up your own league to try to claim bragging rights against your friends.

  4. After reading ESPN’s article about Azarenka and how she approached her quarantine I have to say she handled it like a champion. Yes she cried. Yes she was upset. But mostly she was sad.

    After being told she had to quarantine because of a positive tested passenger on her flight, “…the 31-year-old spent much of the rest of the day in the same spot, watching television, meditating and writing down some of her racing thoughts.”

    “It took me a day because, and this was the most difficult part about it, there’s nothing you can do about it,” she recently told ESPN over a Zoom call on what she said was her eighth day of quarantine. “I think that’s where the emotions kind of get really high and frustrating, because even if you try to do something, there’s really nothing you can do about it. And honestly, I didn’t fight it. I gave myself one day to feel bad for myself and be emotional.”

    “But after that, I felt there’s just no point of continuing this way. I think having those feelings was normal, but it’s just the matter of managing it and handling it, and figuring out how can you go past those initial emotions and keep going. I thankfully had brought a lot of my equipment with me, so the next day I started getting creative — putting some sofa cushions against the wall, I started to just see what I can do, what I can get myself busy with.”

    Good luck Vika.

    • As well as enjoying watching her play, I just love Vika’s positive and philosophical attitude to life and how she deals with adversity. To her credit, she handled the quarantine conditions admirably. I hope she has a successful AO.

    • Good job, Vika👍
      Yes, good luck to Vika! Maybe she will win her 3rd Aussie trophy this year……

  5. Nice to see that Sebi Korda is in the semis today in France and has now made it inside the top 100. Could go higher after this weekend. Best of luck to him.

      • So happy for our fellow Rafan, hope he wins the trophy 🍀
        Pauline, can you watch his match? I can only check scores ☹️

      • Hi Mimi,

        Wasn’t able to watch it but Sebi won the tournament. Will be at #87 tomorrow. He must have picked up some good tips from Andre and Steffi in Las Vegas recently.

        Too bad he isn’t in Melbourne but we should see him soon somewhere else.

        Would be wonderful if he could have a training session with Rafa next time they are in the same event.

      • Yes, and his opponent only got 2 breadsticks! It’s a huge milestone breaking into top 100, wish him the best the rest of the season and beyond. I am sure he did, two of the legends.

        He chose to play Delray Beach instead of quali for the Aussie Open, and it turned out to be a good decision for him I think.

        Yes, I am looking forward to it, hopefully soon.

  6. Only for Rafa, I woke up extra early to watch this match. Both players were sharp, but Rafa was just a little better. In the second set, Thiem made a couple more errors. They are good friends and the match had many great shots and smiles. As others have said, Rafa comments afterwards were perfect for the occasion. It was well worth getting up early.

    • Same here! I woke up at 4am – I’d set my tivo to record the match, although I had to guess at the time – but I got up anyway, and was so glad I did. Very enjoyable match, both guys doing well, and an exho so no pressure! 🙂

  7. What a treat to see tennis back and live fans, I’m smiling with happiness. Very competitive match and two good guys on court. Rafa looked so for and healthy and such a great interview from both he and Dominic. Rafa always strikes the right note and how the fans responded. Fun too.
    Let it set the tone for the ATP Cup but above that for the AO. Thank you Rafa and Dominic. 🇪🇸🌟🇦🇹🌟.

  8. Rafa many Congratulations ..great to see you looking so happy and healthy. Sorely missed you from the courts.. Best wishes for the ATP Cup and also the AO.

  9. Great much congratulations Rafa stay safe we are ready to star tennis to see you playing vamossssssssss champ 😘🎾👍🎾😘

  10. So wonderful to see fans back at matches. As for all the moaning, I would only too gladly spend 2 weeks shut in a hotel room, even with an entire family of mice, if it meant that I could go to a tennis match, a restaurant, etc etc afterwards – lovely to see Rafa thanking the Australian authorities.

  11. Aaahhh, yet another Rafa’s match again missed because of me being stupid enough to rely on you delivering prompt match announcement… At least now I know the match outcome, so I can’t even enjoy watching a rerun. Thanks for nothing.

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