Although he may not be far into his professional campaign in 2015, world No. 3 Rafael Nadal is preparing himself for the Australian Open next week by playing a new format of tennis named Fast4.
The exo-style match has also been dubbed ‘Disco Tennis,’ and 7,500 people gathered to watch Nadal bring the game to life for the first time.
The contest signaled the grand opening of the renovated Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park. It is now officially the third stadium at the Happy Slam with a retractable roof.
Nadal, who was taking part in this event as a co-venture for his Rafa Nadal Foundation which benefits socially disadvantaged youth, defeated retired Aussie Mark Philippousis in less than 20 minutes before following up with a 3-2 win over Fernando Verdasco.
Although Nadal was all smiles during the evening’s proceedings, he admit that he is unable to predict how well he will do next week at the Australian Open. The Spaniard is defending runner-up points at the event, as he lost to first-time winner Stan Wawrinka last year.
“This is the third comeback of my career after injury, so we will see how it goes,” Nadal said.
The Australian Open begins Monday, Jan. 19.