April 09, 2021 Written By David Wilde Point Of View – A Day at the Drive
By David Wilde, Onsite Safety Manager.
‘A Day at the Drive’ was a high-profile, one-off tennis exhibition held in Adelaide on 29th January of this year. And by high-profile, we’re talking the likes of Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Simona Halep, Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka.
The event gave these elite players a chance to get some match practice in before the ATP Cup the following week, but it was so much more than just a warm-up for eight of the world’s best!
After the extraordinary trials that our industry endured through 2020, this event felt like a shining light of hope and inspiration on so many levels. From the smiles and applause of the audience in attendance, to the genuine delight and joy expressed by the players at performing in front of a crowd again. As Serena Williams said after her match: “We haven’t played in front of a crowd in over a year… So happy just to be here.”
For me, my real ‘goosebump’ moment came when I snapped the above image of Rafael Nadal stepping out on court, to thunderous applause from a full house.
For fans to see their sporting heroes again is one thing, but to get that perspective of an absolute icon of the game like Rafa, seeing his fans for the first time in a changed sporting world is something very special.
To say this moment might have given Rafael Nadal the same kind of goosebumps as I was experiencing wouldn’t be too much of a stretch I think!
Thanks to Tennis SA, iEDM, and the people of Adelaide for making this event possible, and for writing another special line in sporting history.