Rafael Nadal praised Australia's response to the coronavirus pandemic during the 'A Day at the Drive' exhibition tournament in Adelaide.
Australia has not recorded a case of Covid-19 within the community for three weeks thanks to a series of strict lockdowns and government laws.
As a result of their efforts, 4000 fans were in attendance during the exhibition match between Nadal and Dominic Thiem in Adelaide, the first time in almost a year that the players had played for a crowd.
'It added something special' - Djokovic wants rivals at retirement like Federer
'We can't thank enough' - Nadal praises Australia for Covid-19 response
And Nadal was quick to thanks the fans and praise Australia.
"It has been a very hard year for all the world in general," he said
"We are still in a very tough situation, but I think Australia is an amazing example of how to control things in the right way, so many congratulations to the country.
Roughly 500 players are now emerging from quarantine just six days ahead of the Australian Open. They have been forced to quarantine inside their hotels for 14 days, and were allowed outdoors for just five hours a day for practice.
- Australian Open 2021: Who's in, who's out, what is hard quarantine?
- Djokovic is our LeBron, but he needs to be accountable
And while the measures have come under fire from some corners, Nadal spoke positively of the experience before thanking the fans for attending.
"The last two weeks have been great, honestly. It’s not idea to stay 14 days in quarantine but that’s the way it has to be done.
Highlights: Nadal beats Thiem in exhibition match
"We can’t thank enough South Australia and Tennis Australia.
"This is an amazing pleasure to be in Adelaide and to play again in front of you guys. We missed you a lot."
The 2021 Australian Open is live and exclusive on Eurosport. You can watch every moment on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
Serena v Sharapova, Federer v Ferrer: Tennis’ most surprising head-to-head records
The Roger Federer 20: Swiss legend's greatest matches ranked
Share this article