Tennis world number one Rafael Nadal is tipping his debut in Perth's ATP Cup against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili to be a strong and interesting start to the tennis season.
The tennis superstar shared his hopes for 2020 during a visit to Perth's favourite holiday island, Rottnest Island, on New Year's Day, after a night of celebrations in the city.
Team mates Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreño Busta and Feliciano López joined Nadal for a quick swim in the ocean before sampling some locally caught crayfish ashore.
In front of a pack of reporters in sheltered Little Parakeet Bay, Nadal said the Spanish team had welcomed 2020 with a barbecue and a boat ride down the Swan River, before finishing the night off in their hotel room.
Following Spain's New Year's tradition, the team celebrated eating 12 grapes at midnight, a ritual set to bring good luck for the next 365 days.
"We are full of luck, since we all celebrated with grapes," Nadal said.
However, far from leaving victory up to chance, Nadal said the team was training well for the upcoming ATP Cup, where they would face strong contenders.
"We will do anything we can to prepare for the competition, I think we are all training well," he said.
"We are a team that will give its best but there are others that are also preparing for it."
Nadal will face off with Georgia's number one Nikoloz Basilashvili on Saturday, before the team plays Uruguay and Japan.
While he said he was working at full capacity to prepare for the clash against Basilashvili, Nadal said the game was set to be an interesting and strong start to the season.
2020 is tipped to be a big year for the Spaniard champion after delivering one of his best years yet in 2019.
Nadal ended the year with 58 victories under his belt, winning his 6th Davis Cup, 12th Roland Garros and 4th US Open.
The tennis superstar is just one Grand Slam title behind Roger Federer leaving tennis fans to wonder if this is the year he'll take the crown off the Swiss.
In the meantime, Nadal has followed Federer's footsteps in 2017, snapping a quick selfie with Rottnest's friendly marsupial, joining a long list of celebrities promoting tourism in WA.
The WA government is hoping Nadal’s quokka snap will be viewed by his more than 22 million followers and put WA’s favourite holiday island on the map.
“The star power of Nadal has the potential to further supercharge the attraction of Western Australia’s slice of paradise globally,” WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said.
Just like the next 12 months are set to be big for the tennis superstar, Mr Papalia said 2020 would be huge for Western Australia.
"Western Australia is the hottest place in Australia to visit right now," he said.
"We've got the fastest growing tourism numbers in the country, we've got the biggest number of visitors from outside the state in history last year and this year looks even better and this event is kicking it off."
Meanwhile, and until the inaugural ATP Cup kicks off, the Spanish team will enjoy a couple of days to recover from jet lag and get their best game faces on.
Photos: Getty Images; AFP; CG Images
Photos: Rafael Nadal IG