The relationship between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic continues to blossom as the two arch-rivals enjoyed some high-spirited banter during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2019 on Thursday.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are currently participating at a three-day non-ATP affiliated exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. Ahead of the tournament, the pair were committed for their media interview when they met each other and passed some witty comments on one another.
World No.2 Djokovic was addressing the media ahead of the Abu Dhabi exhibition event when the Spaniard walked past and told him to “shut up” in a jovial manner. Subsequently, the pair laughed uproariously at their own jest as Djokovic replied: “I’ll remember that.”
Djokovic and Nadal have been the greatest of rivals for many years and were involved in a cold relationship. The top two players of the world had been talking at cross purpose earlier this year during the political unrest in tennis.
However, their relationship has improved substantially. Djokovic and Nadal also played an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia last month. Following their exhibition match in Kazakhstan, the two practised with one another ahead of the Rolex Paris Masters 2019.
The 12th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship commenced on Thursday at the International Tennis Centre in Abu Dhabi.
In the quarterfinals, World No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas eased past Andrey Rublev to secure a spot in the semifinal. The Greek will be up against the defending champion Novak Djokovic in the last four.
In the other semifinal, Rafael Nadal will face Karen Khachanov, who saw off Hyeon Chung 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. There is a potential for a blockbuster Nadal-Djokovic final on Sunday. However, if both players lose their respective ties they could also meet in the third-place play-off. On the other hand, Andrey Rublev and Hyeon Chung will meet in fifth-place play-off before the semifinals
Meanwhile, in the one-off WTA’s exhibition, five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova saw off Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets.