Exhibition season started early for Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. While Roger Federer is playing ATP tennis in Basel, his fellow Big Three members had a hit and giggle in Kazakhstan.
The one-day event was held at the 11,578-seat Barys Arena in Nur-Sultan (the nation's capital), and the idea was to expose the local youth to elite tennis. The match did just that with was Nadal winning, 6-3, 3-6, 11-9.
Before a ball was struck, Nadal got on the phone with former King of Spain Juan Carlos I, who spoke with the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev:
В этот момент Рафаэль Надаль позвонил бывшему Королю Испании и передал телефон Первому Президенту Казахстана. Таким образом, перед благотворительным теннисным матчем состоялся небольшой телефонный разговор Елбасы и Хуана Карлоса I pic.twitter.com/cn4zKepW92— Aidos Ukibay (@Aidos_Ukibay) October 24, 2019
Djokovic was in the mood to dance (Nadal not so much...):
And they didn't forget to have a little fun with it:
???? Retour réussi pour le jeune marié, #Nadal s’impose 6-3 3-6 11-9 contre #Djokovic lors de leur exhibition au Kazakhstan ????????— Game, Set & Talk (@GameSetAndTalk) October 24, 2019
Les choses sérieuses vont commencer la semaine prochaine avec le #rolexparismasters puis les #NittoATPFinals en ligne de mire ????pic.twitter.com/nNWVwgnKr1
The trip to Kazakstan may have come as a bit of a surprise to some given Nadal got married less than a week ago. Both will return to ATP action in Paris next week, where the chase for year-end No. 1 continues. Djokovic is just 320 points ahead of Nadal.