Record crowds have helped celebrate the return of the Brisbane International this summer, with thousands of fans flocking to the Queensland Tennis Centre to witness some of the world’s best players in action.
British actor Jude Law and Australian swimming champion Ariarne Titmus were special guests during Friday’s evening session, where they witnessed world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka seal a semifinal spot and Australian Jordan Thompson grind out an epic three-set win over former world No.1 Rafael Nadal.
Law is a two-time Academy Award nominee and best known for his roles in movies such as The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, Sherlock Holmes and The Holiday. He is currently filming a movie on the Gold Coast.
Titmus, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, is an avid Nadal fan and has been closely watching his comeback throughout this week.
“His fight and determination is something that I aspire to have,” Titmus told brisbaneinternational.com.au. “Even though he’s not a swimmer, he’s definitely my sporting idol.”
Other high-profile visitors to the Queensland Tennis Centre this week include rugby greats Gorden Tallis, Adam Reynolds and Patrick Carrigan.
Tallis, an Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee, cheered on Nadal at Pat Rafter Arena on Tuesday.
“It’s great to be able to come and watch a legend of their craft,” Tallis said.
Reynolds, the Brisbane Broncos captain, was lucky enough to meet Nadal during his visit to the tournament on Wednesday.
He also marvelled at the athleticism of all the tennis stars in action.
“The way they stop, they turn and their speed off the mark, they’re just wonderful athletes,” Reynolds noted.
Carrigan, Reynolds’ Brisbane Broncos team-mate, was left impressed with the pace generated by the world’s best tennis players when he attended the Brisbane International on Thursday.
“I don’t know how they hit it back,” he said.