Rafael Nadal is kind of like royalty in the tennis world, but it looks like he’s been getting the royal treatment off the court, too.
The 29-year-old tennis champion recently posted a picture of himself, along with fellow tennis star Novak Djokovic, visiting the prestigious Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. The photo shows Nadal and Djokovic, both dressed in traditional garb, kneeling on the floor with Suwat Liptapanlop, an esteemed Thai entrepreneur, politician, and the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand’s president. Behind them is a photo of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
According to local news reports, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were invited to Bangkok for their sold-out exhibition match, aptly called, “Back to Thailand – Nadal vs Djokovic.” However, the purpose of their visit was to do more than just play tennis—the athletes were reportedly brought into Thailand to try and boost the image of the military-ruled country, especially after a recent bombing that killed 20 people.
While Nadal and Djokovic might have been paid for their appearance, they’re not the only ones who have been spending time with royalty. Back in March, rapper Drake shared pictures on Instagram of him hanging out with UAE Prince Mansoor bin Mohammed Almaktoum. And everyone’s favorite royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton, kicked back to enjoy a basketball game with Jay Z and Beyoncé while visiting New York City last year.
Rafael Nadal, Instagram post, October 2, 2015.
Gecker, J., “Djokovic and Nadal Mix Tennis With Politics on Thailand Trip,” ABC News web site, October 2, 2015.