Tennis fans around the world were treated to some epic banter between three legends of the game – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray – during a live chat on Instagram on Monday.
Nadal was the one who hosted the chat but things didn’t quite go as planned for the 19-time Grand Slam champion. After addressing his fans first in English and then in Spanish about what he has been up to during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, he was to have quick chats with Federer, Murray and compatriot Marc Lopez.
However, Nadal, who admitted right at the start that it was his first-ever Instagram live, struggled big time to add his guests on the chat.
This prompted some hilarious reactions in the comments section from Federer, Murray and all those who were watching. Murray first had a hearty laugh before asking fans to help Nadal out by explaining to him what to do in the comments. The three-time Major winner then posted this: “This is brilliant... he can win 52 French Opens but not work Instagram.”
Federer then decided to have some fun by asking Murray in the comments whether he was wearing a kilt at that moment and the Scotsman confirmed he was indeed wearing one. The two then proceeded to pull Nadal’s leg again in the comments.
Finally, Nadal did manage to add Federer on the chat and the reaction by both legends was simply priceless.
The two spoke about what they have been up to in the past month. Nadal revealed that he hadn’t touched a racket since Indian Wells and Federer’s reaction to it was brilliant.
Federer then asked his great rival why he plays tennis with his left hand and Nadal replied that him being known as a righty is just “a legend”.
Nadal then goes on to have a chat with Murray and the two speak about the days they used to stay up till late in the night and play football on video games. The best part about that conversation was the fact that Brazilian football legend Ronaldo posted a comment right at that moment.
Nadal also said that he has no fixed schedule these days because unlike Murray, he doesn’t have to take care of children. But the Spaniard, who got married last year, said he hopes to become a father soon.
Meanwhile, Nadal on Monday expressed his frustration that tennis players remain unable to practice due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Federer revealed he was happy with his recovery from knee surgery.
The Spanish government has extended the country’s state of alarm until May 9, with the entire population confined to their homes except a small number working in specific sectors, leaving Nadal perplexed as to why he can’t train.
“It’s true I don’t understand very well because we cannot play tennis when many people are going to work and even more so in our sport, where we keep at a large and safe distance and we play on opposite sides of the court,” world No 2 Nadal said during an Instagram Live.
“But I understand that we are in a very critical situation, that the government is dealing with something unprecedented and I also understand that the last thing they think of is who can train and who cannot train. I understand the situation and obviously there are many things that are not logical but you have to accept the rules.”
The men’s and women’s tours have been halted due to the virus, while Wimbledon was cancelled last month for the first time since World War II and Nadal’s favourite Grand Slam the French Open was pushed back to September 20.
“I am not playing tennis, I do not have a court at home and I miss it a little,” Nadal said. “I am sticking to my physical routines. From the gym of my academy they were able to bring me some machines when the lockdown began so I try to work a little in the morning, a little in the afternoon. It is very important to have both the head and the body focused and it is what I am trying to do at all times.”
Federer meanwhile gave an update on his right knee after the 20-time Major winner decided to undergo surgery in February.
“I’ve been hitting a bit against a wall, (doing) rehab with the knee,” Federer said. “It’s okay, I had a really good first six weeks, then it was a bit slower, now it’s getting better again but I have plenty of time. There is no stress, no rush. If there is anything positive (about being in lockdown) that’s the only thing really. I just want the knee to be good, it doesn’t matter when I return.”
Watch Nadal’s entire Instagram live from Monday:
(With inputs from AFP)