Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal have shared a rather frosty exchange at the Madrid Open in their first face-to-face encounter of the year.
The tennis champions crossed paths on the practice court on Sunday ahead of the Masters 1000 event in the Spanish capital.
Nadal was finishing a practice session when Djokovic was just about to start his, and the pair exchanged a cordial handshake as they crossed paths.
While some fans saw it as a nice meeting between the two superstars, others noted that it looked very frosty.
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The exchange only last about two seconds before both men walked away from each other.
Neither player offered a smile or any words to the other, with the relationship appearing very tense.
While Nadal and Djokovic have been long-time rivals on the court, it remains unclear how they feel about each other off the court.
Nadal angered Djokovic fans in January with his comments regarding the World No.1’s visa issues and subsequent deportation from Australia.
The Spanish champion said Djokovic could have avoided all the dramas if he just got vaccinated.
“In some way I feel sorry for him,” Nadal told the media in Melbourne.
“But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lots of months ago, so he makes his own decision.”
“If he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem.
“He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.”
Some suggested that was the reason for the cold exchange in Madrid on Sunday.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 2, 2022