Before heading to Paris for the final Masters 1000 of the season, No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal made their way to Nur-Sultan, Kazakstan to play an exhibition Thursday.
(Nur-Sultan is the renamed capital, Astana).
It had been scheduled in 2017; Djokovic’s elbow issues forced a postponement.
Nadal edged Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 11-9 in the match tiebreak to earn the victory.
In 10 days’ time, because the ATP removes the ranking points from the ATP Tour Finals ahead of the event, Nadal will become No. 1 in the rankings again, at least for a bit.
He last was No. 1 the week of Oct. 29, 2018.