Grigor Dimitrov and Rafael Nadal, both rivals and good friends, delighted Atlanta fans with a demonstration match at the Energy Center, in which World No. 2 prevailed 7-5 6-3.
Although the match was friendly, the 13,100-seat stadium was full and supporters showed support for the two all the time.
The proceeds raised will support the Spaniard’s Foundation, as well as the US National Tennis Foundation, which organizes and promotes the event, called The Premier Live Atlanta Challenge.
There was no way the winner could not express his superlatives to his opponent Grigor Dimitrov after the end of the match: “He is one of the players you want to watch because of his style and character. We also spend time together in Majorca. We train, we get on a boat, we fish. I think our friendship goes beyond tennis, and that’s the most important thing. ”
“Thanks to everyone for the invitation – it’s a great event and an incredible opportunity,” Nadal said. “This is the first time I’ve been to Atlanta and I’m super happy.”
In addition to quality tennis, Grigor and Nadal impressed with the show. Dimitrov summoned a man from the stands to take his place in one of the games, and he himself sat in his front row seat to watch the exchange of strikes with Rafa.
There were also children on the court who fulfilled their dreams of playing against the two top tennis players.
An interesting fact was that the Spaniard and the Bulgarian did not have the hawk eye system, and this led to some controversy. However, of course, everything remained in the circle of fun.
Atlanta organizers announced before the match that 100 front row seats will be available, and the only way fans can watch the meeting from this position is by attending a March 1 charity dinner, with proceeds going to the Rafa Foundation and for the US National Tennis Foundation.
• Before the match
Photos: Icon Sportswire; Will Fagan/gwinnettdailypost.com; ALTA
Photos: Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association - official FB
Photo: Trevor Short
Photo: Grigor Dimitov IG
Photo: Chase Hodges / @chodgestennis
• Rafa and Grigor interviews