It took a number of video games, however Novak Djokovic returned to his dominant self on Monday night to pressure a deciding doubles match in opposition to France on the ATP Cup in Brisbane. In the match of the day, Denis Shapovalov meets the Alexander Zverev who's already amassed 24 double faults in his first matches.
Novak Djokovic braved extreme humidity to beat tricky French opponent Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2 and later helped Serbia win the doubles as they progressed at the inaugural ATP Cup team event in Brisbane on Monday.
Top-ranked Nadal had little trouble with Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, racing to a 6-3, 7-5 victory, while long-time rival Djokovic was given more of a test by South Africa's Kevin Anderson before overcoming him 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6).
"This moron and his group of thug mates dressed in black turned up, sat in eye view of Nole and blatantly stood up and cheered and sniggered at Serbia's errors".
Djokovic - who is also the ATP Player Council president - said he was concerned about potential health issues at Melbourne Park and believed measures may have to be put in place to protect players if the air quality continues to deteriorate. "But it was very important for me to stay focussed for the team", Paire said. "Thanks to the people for staying to nearly 1 a.m.to support us".
"He's a great fighter, and a great friend of mine, so I wish him all the best".
With qualifying for the season's first Grand Slam starting on January 14, tournament director Craig Tiley said officials can halt play if smoke poses a danger to players' health.
"It was a positive victory". I played a very solid match, my serve worked better than on day one, "said Nadal". "Returning I think very well from the baseline".
Tennis Australia has also arranged a fund-raising exhibition match at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on January 15, ahead of the Australian Open, with "the world's top players" taking part.
And in Sydney, Dominic Thiem eased past Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 7-6 to lead Austria to a 3-0 win over Argentina.
"When Gael came and told me, "Yeah, you have to fight, you have to fight for the team", I did it, so that's why I'm happy".
The win, combined with South Africa's earlier defeat of Chile, means Serbia are assured of topping Group A with one round remaining.
Anderson, who is coming off a six-month injury layoff and pushed Djokovic in two tight sets over the weekend, outclassed Cristian Garin 6-0, 6-3 after Lloyd Harris beat Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-4.
Yoshihito Nishioka routed higher-ranked Pablo Cuevas 6-0, 6-1 and veteran Go Soeda thrashed Martin Cuevas, Pablo's younger brother, 6-1, 6-3 before a tighter doubles encounter.
Anderson said the goal was now to win the last round of the group stage to have a chance of reaching the quarterfinals, which start Thursday in Sydney.