Rafael Nadal Battles Illness at Australian Open, Wins For Footwear On Court & Off

Rafael Nadal at the 2015 Australian
Rafael Nadal gets emotional in head-to-toe Nike after winning his second-round, five-set match. He battled through a stomach illness.
Getty Images

Multiple majors tennis champ Rafael Nadal advanced earlier today in the Australian Open. But it wasn’t easy for the Spaniard, who eked out a five-set victory over American Tim Smyczek.

Nadal, a longtime Nike-sponsored athlete, advanced to the third round after defeating the tournament’s 112th-ranked qualifier Smyczek.

While Nadal rallied back to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-5 — electrifying the crowd by fighting through a reported stomach illness — he clearly looked like the second-round match had taken its toll on him.

We prefer to think of his better days.

On court, the 28-year-old is known for his individual style and its ongoing evolution. Remember the uber-tight pirate pants of his earlier playing years? And who could forget his endless wardrobe of sleeveless shirts, which only enhanced his love of powerful fist pumps after winning each crucial point.

Though he has toned down some of that flair, he still has style standouts galore, such as matching fluorescent headbands and wristbands.

That could be why Nadal was tapped late last year to be the face of Tommy Hilfiger’s underwear and tailored collection, due out this fall.

At the time, Hilfiger said in a statement: “Rafael Nadal embodies an effortless sense of style that exemplifies and reflects our brand spirit — he’s confident, fun and cool.”

For more on Nadal’s key off-court looks, click here.