World no.2 Novak Djokovic and no.12 Nicolas Almagro provided an amusing afternoon of tennis on Saturday in two exhibition matches full of laughter.
The afternoon started with a super tie-breaker, in which Djokovic and Almagro teamed up with local young talents. Almagro and his partner, 14-year-old Lee Ho-chun, beat Novak and 12-year-old Tseng Chun-hsin 10-8.
“We’re very surprised at how they were hitting the ball,” Novak said, praising the young players’ potential.
The light-hearted atmosphere at the National Taiwan Sport University in Linkou, New Taipei, was carried into a best-of-three singles match between the two tennis stars.
Nole sometimes challenged the chair umpire or screamed in dismay when his returns were called out… He won the match 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Almagro mimicked retired USA player Andy Roddick at Djokovic’s request and the 25-year-old Serb, in return, impersonated world no.4 Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Novak said at the end of the match that it was nice to “play good tennis, but also to smile, have fun and do something different”.
“We don’t get to do that often,” he said.
At the request of the fans, Nole and Almagro also danced part of the “Gangnam Style” dance, made famous by South Korean rapper Psy, drawing rounds of applause and laughter.