Serena Williams made her mark in more ways than one during the opening day of the Australian Open, where a funny post-match incident with Rafael Nadal left the Spaniard a little startled.
Williams kicked off her Australian Open campaign with a commanding first round win against Laura Siegemund, before crossing paths with Nadal in a curious interaction.
Nadal was waiting in the tunnel, with his first round match against Serbia's Laslo Dere set for Tuesday on Rod Laver Arena.
The Spaniard had a collection of racquets in his hand and was talking to another man when Williams strolled up to him.
The American stopped right next to Nadal, who still hadn't seen her approach and seemed startled when she stopped right next to his face.
Nadal jumped back in shock before realising that it was Williams, who had come over to have a chat with the World No.2.
Both players pulled their face masks down so they could hear one another better, with Nadal’s initial shock giving way to a friendly conversation between the pair.
The rare moment between the tennis legends left fans in awe on social media.
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) February 8, 2021
I love these two :)
— eleazar valdez (@tennislover23) February 8, 2021
serena just casually stopping to have a chat with rafa 🥺💗
— amber (@lunarshackles) February 8, 2021
serena and rafa chatting it up in the hallway lol i want details
— andre (@andreopines) February 8, 2021
Serena and Rafa. 😍😍
— Donnelle (@iAmNELLEZ_) February 8, 2021
My faves Rafa and Serena conversing! ♥️
— AshtonNoKutcher (@QueenOfPink87) February 8, 2021
Serena has always had a soft spot for Rafa .😍 https://t.co/2qrAYVKTR2
— Maria Mouskos (@Maria_Mouskos) February 8, 2021
Serena makes brutal start to Aus Open campaign
Williams kick-started her campaign, in a bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, against Laura Siegemund following Naomi Osaka’s barnstorming Round 1 win.
But the first thing fans noticed when Williams entered the arena was her ‘disco’ coloured outfit.
The 39-year-old removed her jacket to reveal an incredible one-legged catsuit, which had fans in awe.
Williams said she was feeling pressure ahead of the Australian Open, but showed no nerves as she swept aside Siegemund 6-1, 6-1.
Williams, much like Osaka in the game before her on Rod Laver Arena, was too powerful for her opponent with her heavy groundstrokes dominating proceedings.
However, only a day before Williams said she felt lingering pressure of securing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam victory.
"It's definitely on my shoulders and on my mind and it's good to be on my mind," Williams said.
"It's a different burden, I should say, on my shoulders because I'm used to it now and it's more relaxing."
Meanwhile, Osaka started her campaign in the best possible fashion after taking down Pavlyuchenkova 6 -1, 6-2.
Osaka needed an hour and 33 minutes to get past Pavlyuchenokva, a formidable early-round opponent ranked No.39 in the world and boasting the rare distinction of having reached the last eight of all four grand slams throughout her career.
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