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Federer-Nadal, Murray-Kyrgios, And The Other Top Instagram Live ATP Tennis Player Chats During Coronavirus Hiatus

By Ricky Dimon

Sports–tennis included–have been one of the big losers of the coronavirus era. You can count restaurants, hotels, airlines, car-rental companies, and many more among that group.

There are, however, some winners. You know, like Zoom. Netflix. Twitch or other streaming services. And, of course, Instagram Live.

With people around the world stuck at home and practicing social distancing during the global pandemic, remote conversations on the internet have been all the rage. While Zoom is generally the choice for online classes and business meetings, Instagram Live has been the way to go for casual conversations between friends. Professional tennis have certainly been among those flocking to IG for the dual purpose of keeping in touch with each other while also entertaining their fans.

A session featuring Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal has obviously been the most-watched IG Live chat of the past two months.

Perhaps the highlight of that one came before Federer even joined his friendly rival on air. Nadal struggled mightily while trying to invite the 20-time Grand Slam champion into the chat before finally succeeding.

“As you can see, I’m a disaster in everything,” the Nadal after Federer was at long last on the screen. “But I’m trying hard.”

Andy Murray promptly popped up in the comments section to quip, “This is brilliant. He can win 52 French Opens, but not work Instagram.”

Once it got underway, the two all-time greats covered a wide variety of topics. Nadal revealed that–at the time–he had not picked up a racket since leaving Indian Wells when the tournament was cancelled. “Perfect,” Federer replied. “You won’t be able to play tennis anymore when you get back!”

There is still no sign of the sport coming back soon, so for now tennis fans around the world are confined to seeing their favorite stars on Instagram Live. Murray and Nick Kyrgios treated their followings to a chat this past weekend.

Given that it was after midnight in Australia, Kyrgios had unsurprisingly partaken in more than a few adult beverages before logging on. Predictable hilarity ensured. It started when Murray asked the Aussie how many glasses of wine he had drunk.

“About as many games as you gave me at Wimbledon that year,” Kyrgios responded, referencing their 2016 fourth-round matchup at the All-England Club. “About six.” (Kyrgios actually won 10 games in a 7-5, 6-1, 6-5 loss).

Kyrgios eventually weighed in on several members of the European Laver Cup team. He assured that Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas “hate each other,” said Dominic Thiem would “prefer to watch paint dry” than to “try a new cocktail,” and called Novak Djokovic’s victory celebrations “cringeworthy.” According to Kyrgios, Djokovic has a “sick obsession with wanting to be liked.”

Other ATP players who are especially active on Instagram these days are Stan Wawrinka, Benoit Paire, and David Goffin. On the women’s side, Venus Williams has been broadcasting her yoga sessions on Instagram Live. She has done yoga classes Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, and NFL star Rob Gronkowski among others.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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