Rafael Nadal Pledges AUD $250,000 for Australia Bushfire Relief Efforts During Rally for Relief

Rafael Nadal is swinging for a cause…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star was among some of tennis’ biggest names gathered in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday to raise funds for Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

Rafael Nadal Rally for Relief

Raising nearly 5 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million), Nadal, Serena WilliamsNovak DjokovicRoger FedererCaroline Wozniacki and a number of up-and-coming stars at the Rally for Relief gave the capacity crowd of more than 15,000 fans the opportunity to see the lighter side of the competitive sport.

Nadal and the gang volunteered their time for the cause. On several occasions, volunteer fire personnel took to the court to play against the tennis stars.

Australian’s Nick Kyrgiosplayed a role in kick-starting the wave of relief. His Twitterpledge of $200 per ace throughout the Australian summer inspired colleagues into action, prompting Tennis Australiato announce the Rally for Relief evening.

During the event, Federerand Nadal announced they’d contribute 250,000 Australian dollars to the cause.

Kyrgios said he “got goose bumps” when the figure was announced after his one-set match with Federer on the night.

“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. I just wanted to send a message. … I was eating dinner and wrote a tweet … and it kind of exploded,” he said on court after the event. “When I was back home in Canberra, I couldn’t even go outside [due to the smoke].”

Federer said he and other players were only too happy to help out a nation in which he spends nearly one month of the year.

“It’s been hard to watch,” Federer said. “As you get it through the news, you don’t know how bad it is, but then you get here and speak to the people affected, it’s difficult. I’m always happy to help and lend my money and do my fair share.”

Rafael Nadal to Take Part in ‘Rally for Relief’ Charity Event to Raise Funds for Australian Bushfire Relief

Rafael Nadalis ready to swing his racquet for a good cause…

The 33-year-old Spanish professional tennis player, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, will take part in a charity event ahead of the Australian Open that will have a new air quality policy as organizers grapple with issues related to the bushfire crisis.

Rafael Nadal

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday that the Rally for Relief will be held onRod Laver Arena on the evening of January 15 with proceeds going to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Nadal will take part alongside Roger FedererSerena WilliamsNick KyrgiosNaomi OsakaCaroline Wozniaki and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“For a period of about two-and-a-half hours we’re going to be showcasing the game, but also coming together as a community to play our part in the relief effort,” Tiley said

“I’m really proud of the playing group because the number of calls and emails I’ve got with everyone stepping forward and either giving money or making themselves available.

“The format is going to be pretty cool … it’s going to be a combination of fun and seriousness.

“We’ll see some doubles, we’ll see some singles, some target hitting and opportunities to raise more money on the night.

“We’ll see the players having a lot of fun.”

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster with all proceeds going to bushfire disaster relief charities.

Tiley also confirmed the Open will go ahead as scheduled with an air quality policy in place after concerns had been raised about the potential for smoke from bushfires burning in Victoria’s east to affect the health of players and fans.

“This is a new experience for not only us but across the world in this sport,” Tiley said.

“But we lead the world with the extreme heat policy and we expect to do the same around air quality.

“We do have three stadiums with roofs so play will always continue.

“But what will be new is that we will have some real-time (air quality) monitoring on-site … and we’ll use that analysis to make some decisions around the safety and well-being of players and fans.

“… I think the players understand that this is not something that we can do anything about and they’ve been gracious and very cooperative.

“They want to play.”

Rafael Nadal’s ATP Cup Mural Unveiled in Perth

Rafael Nadal’s face has found a special home Down Under

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, is one of the players being honored with a special mural in Perth, Australia.

Rafael Nadal Mural

The inaugural ATP Cupis set to take place between January 3-12 in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, bringing together some of the world’s leading players in both singles and doubles from 24 countries. 

Weeks before the start of the action, Nodal got his mural in Perth together with Kei Nishikori and other stars, with the organizers welcoming the 19-time Grand Slam champion.

Nadal is among those who’ll fight for the crown together with his teammates, fresh after conquering the first edition of the Davis Cup Finalsin Madrid.

Spain is the favorite to reach the quarters from Group B, battling against Japan, Uruguay and Georgia at RAC Arena in Perth and hoping to continue the competition in Sydney where eight strongest teams continue the quest for the title in the second stage of the event.

Backed by Roberto Bautista AugtPablo Carreno BustaAlbert Ramos-Vinolas and Feliciano Lopez, Nadal is eager to lead Spain towards another team competition crown, shining in front of the home fans in Madrid with eight victories from as many rubbers and delivering the sixth Davis Cup title for Spain.

In what was a wild race towards the finish line, Nadal and Djokovic fought for the year-end no. 1 spot for almost the entire season, with the Spaniard making the deciding move in Montreal and the US Open and keeping the lead in the ATP Raceuntil the ATP Finalswhere they both lost in the round-robin stage.

Rafa and Novak will continue their rivalry at the ATP Cup, joined by Gael MonfilsKei NishikoriDavid GoffinAndy Murray, Grigor DimitrovAlexander ZverevDenis ShapovalovFelix Auger-AliassimeNick KyrgiosAlex de MinaurDaniil MedvedevKaren KhachanovJohn IsnerMatteo BerrettiniFabio FogniniDominic Thiem, Diego Schwartzmanand others.

Rafael Nadal Partners with Roger Federer in Laver Cup Doubles Win

Rafael Nadal has found an unlikely doubles partner…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star joined forces with longtime rival Roger Federer to win a doubles match in the new Laver Cup on Saturday.

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal Laver Cup

Nadal and Federer teamed up for the first time to defeat Sam Querrey and Jack Sock 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 in the team event between Europe and the rest of the world.

“It was unbelievable,” Nadal said.

The inaugural Laver Cup is taking place at Prague’s O2 Arena on an unusual black hard court.

Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych also form the European team.

John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe play for the world.

Europe needs two more victories from Sunday’s four games to win.

Nadal Defeats Fabio Fognini to Reach Men’s Final at the Miami Open

Rafael Nadal is one step closer to a historic title…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis star, a four-time runner-up at the Miami Open, beat unseeded Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5 in the semifinals at Key Biscayne to earn his spot in the finals.

Rafael Nadal,

Nadal, who lost in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014, is playing in the tournament for the 13th time, making it his longest title drought at any event.

“For me the most important thing is to be in the final,” Nadal told the crowd. “That’s great news for me.”

Nadal’s opponent Sunday will be Roger Federer, who defeated Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (9), 6-7 (9), 7-6 (5) in the other semifinal. The showdown comes 13 years after their first career encounter, also at Key Biscayne.

“My biggest rival,” Federer said. “It feels like old times.”

Said Nadal: “I’m just excited to play against Roger always. He’s a big challenge for me, and I think for everybody.”

Seeded fifth, Nadal eliminated Fognini without facing a break point, and lost only nine of 46 points on his serve.

Fognini, the first unseeded men’s semifinalist since 2007, looked listless at the start in 86-degree sunshine. He finished with 38 unforced errors, compared with 12 for Nadal.

The crowd chanted Fognini’s first name in an attempt to get the Italian going, and flying footwear did the job. Fognini hit a drop shot to cause the sneaker malfunction, laughed at length while Nadal retied his shoe and played better after that.

The second set was up for grabs until Fognini double-faulted to fall behind 6-5. Nadal then served out the match at love.

Nadal improved to 19-4 this year and leads the men’s tour in wins.

Almagro Defeats Nick Kyrgios to Reach the Estoril Open Final

Nicolas Almagro is one win away from ending a four year drought…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player and clay-court specialist beat second-seeded Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 at the Estoril Open on Saturday to reach his second final of the season.

Nicolas Almagro

Almagro will face fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who upset third-seeded Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal at the clay-court tournament.

The 71st-ranked Almagro saved the only two break points he conceded in the entire match and served seven aces to reach his second final after losing to Dominic Thiem in Argentina in February.

Almagro has 12 career ATP titles, all on clay. He hasn’t won a tournament in four years.

The eighth-seeded Carreno Busta, 24, upset top-seeded Gilles Simon in Friday’s quarterfinals.

The 50th-ranked Spaniard played in his first final at the Brazil Open in February, losing to Pablo Cuevas.

Nadal Ready to Return to Competitive Tennis

Rafael Nadal is ready to return to the court…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis star says the injured right wrist that’s left him sidelined for the last two months and caused him to miss the US Open is feeling better and that he’s ready to compete again.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal hasn’t played a match since losing in the fourth round of Wimbledon to Australian Nick Kyrgios. He injured his wrist while practicing on his home island of Mallorca in late July.

He told reporters ahead of the China Open in Beijing on Saturday that while the wrist is not 100 percent, “the injury is not limiting me to compete.”

“I just feel the wrist a little bit when I am starting, when I start to play every day, but then disappears,” he said.

Nadal is seeded second at the tournament behind top-ranked Novak Djokovic.