Steve Smith has proven his sublime sporting ability is not limited to just cricket.
Smith, an avid tennis fan who sits fourth on Australia’s all-time leading Test run-scoring list, wowed fans with the racquet as part of an exhibition night alongside Novak Djokovic, Peter Bol, Jackson Warne and Aryna Sabalenka at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Steve Smith floors Novak Djokovic during exhibition night.
Watch the latest sport on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>
In a night of fun and frivolity, Smith played tennis and Djokovic had a go at cricket as the stars raised money on a successful charity night.
And while Djokovic, who faced bowling from Shane Warne’s son Jackson, didn’t exactly look a natural with the willow, Smith didn’t disgrace himself with a racquet in his hands.
John Millman chokes back tears in sad final act on tennis court
Alex de Minaur cops dangerous first opponent in tough Aus Open draw
Australia’s new Test opener faced a searing serve — albeit not at top pace — from Djokovic and didn’t bat an eyelid as he made the return with ease.
Djokovic dropped his racquet in amazement as the crowd erupted in applause for Smith, who couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
On an action packed night, Djokovic also ran down Peter Bol, flirted with fellow reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, swished hoops to showcase his basketball prowess, had a cosy chat with Nick Kyrgios and even took charge from the umpire’s chair at Rod Laver Arena.
Nick Kyrgios (right) interviews Novak Djokovic during A Night with Novak and Friends. Credit: JOEL CARRETT/AAPIMAGE
But the 10-time Australian Open champion ultimately confirmed himself as the undisputed Melbourne Park king during A Night with Novak and Friends on Thursday.
After downing Stefanos Tsitsipas in an exhibition set — a “rematch” of last year’s Open final — Djokovic dazzled a capacity crowd at the charity event and even showcased his wheelchair wizardry to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Australian Open Foundation.
“I have to pinch myself, honestly, after so many years of professional tennis, coming back to the Rod Laver Arena is always extra special,” the 24-times grand slam champ said ahead of his quest to surpass Aussie legend Margaret Court as the most prolific singles major winner.
“I don’t take these evenings for granted … It’s a very special evening.”
Steve Smith deals with a Djokovic bouncer during A Night with Novak and Friends. Credit: JOEL CARRETT/AAPIMAGE
Special, too, apparently for Sabalenka, who claimed “OMG, I have the best view here” while serving with her partner Djokovic in a mixed doubles hit-and-giggle with Tsitsipas and fellow Greek ace Maria Sakkari.
“Focus Novak, focus,” Djokovic said as Sabalenka mimicked her bum-wiggling teammate while he tried to serve.
Peter Bol also had a cameo appearance for the night, competing with Djokovic in a running race from one end of the court to the other that also included an agility ladder.
– With AAP