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Impersonator recalls meeting Nadal for first time
Published Jul 27, 2020
Rafael Nadal is that you? Elliot Loney has mastered his craft of impersonations, and Nadal is one of his favorites to whip out.
The Australian comedian's popularity picked up speed in Melbourne at his home Slam in Melbourne thanks to interviews like this:
Since then, Loney has shown his Nadal-like antics all over the world, including on TV in Australia and at the Rogers Cup in Canada.
Loney had high hopes of meeting the Spaniard in person, but the interaction didn't quite go as imagined. At the 2017 Rogers Cup, Loney was working for the event and playing Heads Up! with all the stars.
"Rafa strolls up, so I puff my chest out and think you know here we go," Loney said on the TENNIS.com Podcast. "Alright, I'll just play it cool. I was like Rafa, Rafa is it? Yeah, nice to meet you, mate."
Loney launched into trying to play the game, but a Montreal film crew cut him off, saying they had the exclusive with Nadal.
"And Rafa just looked at me and goes, 'I'm sorry little guy, but I cannot do it. But I'm going to see you very soon and all the best OK?'" Loney said. "And shook my head and walked off. He was so apologetic and so nice. I was devastated because I was hoping that I'd maybe have a couple more minutes to be like, 'Hey by the way, do you know? Have you seen?'"
Loney has impersonated Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios, Jim Courier, Dominic Theim and many more. He adds a little spin to each character, like a sideways hat for Krygios and a sharp starting exclamation noise for Nadal.
"A lot of the comedy is in the absurdism of it and I think it's not just funny to do an impersonation," Loney said. "It's kind of like with Rafa when I do the "dahh!" He doesn't do that. I've never seen Rafa do that, but it's funny to add that in. I like to give a subtle signature for every single person I impersonate that only Elliot Loney does."
Loney might get more chances to meet Nadal in the future, as he looks to be a part of the tennis tour more often.