Saturday, 25 September 2010
Rafael Nadal - The Paintballing King
Rafael Nadal will present Juan Martin del Potro with his toughest possible obstacle as the Argentinian bids to make a comeback from the wrist injury that ruled him out of the defence of his US Open title last month.
Spaniard Nadal won that tournament, to become just the seventh player to win all four Grand Slam titles, and makes his first appearance since in the Thailand Open in Bangkok this week.
Del Potro last played in January's Australian Open and has no hope of making the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where he was runner-up last year, in London in November after his ranking fell from No 4 to No 35.
Nadal and Roger Federer, so far the only two players to have qualified for the shoot-out at the O2, have given another display of their racket artistry by 'painting' unique self-portraits to be auctioned for charity.
They created masterpieces of one of their signature on-court moves by hitting paint-covered balls against a large canvas.
'It was fun to create my portrait and a bit of a challenge to put the balls on the silhouette,' said Nadal.
Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick are among those battling for rankings points to earn one of the other six places.
Artwork created by the final eight will be exhibited in London in early November, and at the tournament fan zone.