'Cheerleader Rafa': Fans lose it over Nadal's 'emotional rollercoaster'

Rafael Nadal (pictured) getting nervous and frustrated during Spain's the ATP Cup clash.
Rafael Nadal (pictured) showed his full range of emotions watching on from the sidelines as Spain defeated Australia at the ATP Cup. (Images: TennisTV/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal upset fans when he pulled out of the ATP Cup first tie due to injury, but provided tennis diehards with a different highlight reel from the sidelines.

The World No.2 was on Tuesday evening forced to withdraw from his country's opening tie against the home nation after complaining of a stiff lower back.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion was due to take the court against Australia's top-ranked player Alex De Minaur on Tuesday night, but opted to rest instead as he prepares for the Australian Open next week.

Instead, the Spaniard joined his teammates on the sidelines and experienced the emotions of the match with fans at the stadium and around Australia.

During the first match, Spain's No.3 ranked player - World No.16 Pablo Carreno Busta - defeated Aussie John Millman 6-2, 6-4.

But Nadal showed fans a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ during the 77 minute battle.

Fortunately for Nadal, and team Spain, Roberto Bautista Agut was also able to defeat Alex de Minaur 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 20 minutes to claim the tie.

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Rising star de Minaur hopes he'll be able to "bring it" against World No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas after dusting off the cobwebs in Australia's ATP Cup loss to Spain.

De Minaur will be back in action again on Wednesday when Australia take on Greece, with the home side needing to win to keep their ATP Cup title hopes alive.

Millman will start as hot favourite against world No.462 Michail Pervolarakis, while de Minaur's Australian Open preparations will be given a stern test when he takes on the highly-fancied Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas holds a 3-0 edge over de Minaur in head-to-head battles, so the Australian will be aiming to turn the tables.

with AAP