World

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal mix tennis with politics on promotional trip to Thailand

  • Top tennis players, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, left, and Rafael Nadal of Spain, hold garland to offer for Phra Phrom, the Thai interpretation of the Hindu god Brahma, at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Thailand is making special efforts to promote tourism after the Aug. 17 bombing at the shrine. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    Top tennis players, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, left, and Rafael Nadal of Spain, hold garland to offer for Phra Phrom, the Thai interpretation of the Hindu god Brahma, at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Thailand is making special efforts to promote tourism after the Aug. 17 bombing at the shrine. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tennis players Novak Djokovic, center, of Serbia and Rafael Nadal, left, of Spain give rackets to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha during a meeting at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Djokovic will face Nadal in the tennis exhibition match in Bangkok to boost confidence in Thailand's safety after a deadly Aug. 17 bombing that left 20 dead in the heart of the capital. (Rungroj Yongrit/Pool Photo via AP)

    Tennis players Novak Djokovic, center, of Serbia and Rafael Nadal, left, of Spain give rackets to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha during a meeting at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Djokovic will face Nadal in the tennis exhibition match in Bangkok to boost confidence in Thailand's safety after a deadly Aug. 17 bombing that left 20 dead in the heart of the capital. (Rungroj Yongrit/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Thai woman seller gives traditional loincloth to tennis players Rafael Nadal, right, of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia as they visit a fair outside Government House in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Djokovic will face Nadal in the tennis exhibition match in Bangkok to boost confidence in Thailand's safety after a deadly Aug. 17 bombing that left 20 dead in the heart of the capital. (Rungroj Yongrit/Pool Photo via AP)

    A Thai woman seller gives traditional loincloth to tennis players Rafael Nadal, right, of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia as they visit a fair outside Government House in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Djokovic will face Nadal in the tennis exhibition match in Bangkok to boost confidence in Thailand's safety after a deadly Aug. 17 bombing that left 20 dead in the heart of the capital. (Rungroj Yongrit/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal took a break from tennis to shake hands with the head of Thailand's ruling junta on a promotional trip to the military-ruled country that mixed sports with politics.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic and his longtime rival Nadal were in Thailand for a sold-out Friday night exhibition match dubbed "Back to Thailand."

The event was organized by local authorities to boost confidence in the country's safety after a deadly Aug. 17 bombing that left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured.

Before the evening match, they were led to a variety of photo opportunities, including a visit to the Erawan Shrine, the site of the blast, the ornate Grand Palace and a visit with the junta leader, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.