Barely a day after landing in Australia, Rafa took part in the FAST4 Tennis exhibition in Sydney. He was part of the World team with Frenchman Gael Monfils and Mats Wilander. They played an Australian team made up of Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios and Pat Cash.
The FAST4 format is a best of three sets match. The first player to win 4 games wins the set (there's a tiebreak at 3-3).
Lleyton Hewitt, who will retire after the Australian Open, beat Rafael Nadal 4/2 4/2 and said afterwards, "I am very happy to play him when he's jet lagged."
Vamos Brigade members grafa and jabot were there. grafa said, "It was great to see Rafa so relaxed, so smiley and having fun. IMO, I think "he let Lleyton win". Rafa was playing to have fun, not too much exertion but he still had a few terrific winning points but a few duds as well."
jabot agreed. "He looked relaxed and smiling. He was obviously tired and suffering from jet lag but showed jaw dropping flashes of brilliance. This simply does not come across through TV where you see only what the cameraman is showing you. His speed and split second reflexes are amazing. I agree with grafa that he probably let Lleyton win, which was fair enough considering the circumstances."
Rafa teamed up with Gael Monfils to beat Nick Kyrgios and Lleyton Hewitt in the doubles, 4/3 4/3.
jabot observed, "The doubles was fun and again he showed why he is one of the "best in history". I loved Lleyton's remark to that effect and his deference to Rafa."
They obviously found it hilarious.
The Rest of the World team won the event.
We hope you have as much fun in the Australian Open, Rafa