WATCH: Rafael Nadal Brings Back Laver Cup Memories With His Hilarious Reactions at ATP Cup 2021

Published 02/02/2021, 12:08 PM EST
Rafael Nadal reacts during his semi final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


World No.2 Rafael Nadal pulled out of Spain’s opening tie against Australia at the 2021 ATP Cup. Scheduled to face Alex De Minaur in a singles match, Nadal withdrew just hours before citing a stiff lower back. The Spaniard announced the news on his official Twitter account and hoped to return to court to play against Team-Greece.

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After his withdrawal, compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut replaced Nadal and defeated Alex De Minaur in a thrilling three-set encounter. Despite being sidelined, Nadal was seated next to the players’ chair to support his team and kept giving his teammates his advice on-court.

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Rafael Nadal on-court expressions

However, the cameraman captured Nadal giving some hilarious expressions during Spain’s doubles match against Australia. The 20-time Grand Slam played the role of the coach from the sidelines and expressed his emotions through his facial expressions.

From cheering his teammates to gritting his teeth, Nadal caught more attention through his priceless expressions than the players competing on the court. The 34-year-old gave useful tips to Pablo Carreno Busta many times and helped Spain defeat Australia in the doubles tie.

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Watching Nadal from the sidelines reminded people of Nadal’s funny reactions during the 2019 Laver Cup. Being in Team-Europe alongside his arch-rival Roger Federer, Nadal’s hysterical facial expressions gave an insight into his emotions and enthusiasm for the sport.

Despite Nadal’s absence, Spain clean-swept Team-Australian 3-0. Having suffered an agonizing defeat, Australia must win against Greece to have any chances of qualifying for the semifinals.

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For Nadal, having a lower back problem just a week before the 2021 Australian Open doesn’t augur well for him. Having won at Melbourne Park in 2009, Nadal has lost in all his last four Australian Open finals. If he wins this time, Nadal will become the first man in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam twice and also break Federer’s tally of 20 major championships.

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Kshitij Tayal

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Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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