Rafael Nadal garnered a grand reception on his Latin America exhibition tour. The Spaniard and Casper Ruud are set to play in six different countries during their exhibition tour, starting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The World No. 2 and World No. 3 began their tour on November 23 with a singles encounter at the Parque Roca in Buenos Aires, where the Spaniard topped Casper Ruud 7-6, 6-2.
Nadal received a rousing reception upon entering the stadium. While the 22-time Grand Slam champion was gearing up for the match, the crowd seemed upbeat.
The singles encounter will be followed by a mixed doubles match in which the 14-time French Open champion will team up with former doubles and singles World No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini and Casper Ruud will pair up with former doubles World No. 1 Gisela Dulko. On November 25, the 36-year-old will face World No. 87 Alejandro Tabilo in Santiago, Chile, during the next leg of the tour.
Ruud will once again accompany the Spaniard on the tour while they stop in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on November 26, Quito, Ecuador on November 27, Bogota, Colombia on November 29, and finally, Mexico City, Mexico on December 1 wrapping up the tour.
"I'm not sure if he'll accept" - Rafael Nadal on Casper Ruud's wish of overturning one of Spaniard's Australian Open results
Before beginning their exhibition tour on Tuesday (November 22), Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud spoke at a pre-tour press conference.
The 23-year-old Ruud said that if he had the power, he would have changed the outcome of the 2012 Australian Open finals in the 36-year-old's favor. The final at Rod Laver Arena saw the Spaniard lose to Novak Djokovic in five sets.
"I wish I could change one result in the history of tennis and I don't know if Rafa will be angry or happy for me saying this. It's not the Roland Garros final this year because it was not a very close match but Rafa's Australian Open loss in 2012 against Novak," Casper Ruud said.
"I was probably even sadder than him because that was watching six hours of TV and hoping Rafa would win and then it was probably one of the best matches ever. I think for days, I was still sad about the loss for him and I still wish today that he could have won," the Norwegian added.
Nadal joked that they could try calling Djokovic and asking for the trophy.
"Maybe we can call Novak. I'm not sure if he'll accept. Maybe he can send the trophy or something," said the Spaniard.