Bangkok - Tennis titans Rafael Nadal and
Novak Djokovic met with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday and
visited the site of a deadly Bangkok bomb blast last month.
World number one Djokovic and Nadal, a
14-times grand slam champion, are in Thailand for a sold-out exhibition match
aimed at boosting confidence in safety following the attack which killed 20
people, including fourteen foreigners.
The blast, the worst incident of its kind
in Thai history, has taken a toll on the country's important tourism industry,
which had just begun to recover after political protests last year.
The pair visited the Erawan shrine, the
scene of the explosion, and placed flower garlands at the site amid pouring
Earlier, Nadal and Djokovic, wearing pale
blue and yellow traditional Thai silk jackets, gave tennis racquets to Prayuth
and chatted to the premier through an interpreter. Prayuth asked the two to
help promote Thai tourism.
"We are very pleased to have
world-class tennis players in Thailand," said Prayuth. "We hope you
will help boost confidence."
Djokovic last visited Thailand in 2008 when
he lost the final of the Thailand Open to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Nadal
visited Bangkok in 2010 for the same tournament and lost in the semi-finals.
The two will face each other at Bangkok's
Hua Mark Indoor Stadium at 15:00 on Friday.