Rafael Nadal NFT Linked to Game-Winning Shot Soars in Value

Credit: David Iliff / Australia Open

The Australia Open’s Art Ball NFT that represents the game-winning shot by tennis star Rafael Nadal has received an offer for 3.2 ETH, 4,000% higher than the floor price.

The shot landed Nadal his 21st Grand Slam final victory and one lucky Art Ball NFT owner a valuable digital asset.

Another Art Ball representing the women’s title, which was won by 25-year-old Australian native Ashley Barty, has received bids for 1.3 (or around $3,500). Both owners of the game-winning NFTs appear to be HODLing, and neither NFT is currently for sale.

The creative NFT collection Art Balls was released by the Australia Open, which bills itself as one of the most tech-savvy sporting events around, earlier in the month.

Since the sale of 6,776 AO Art Ball NFTs quickly sold out on Jan. 13th for .067 Ethereum (around $300 at the time), the NFTs have been soaring in value and the collection has recorded 1700 ETH ($4.5 million) in trading volume on secondary marketplace OpenSea.

What makes the NFT Art Balls special is that each digital Art Ball is linked to a particular plot on the tennis court. After the tournament, the AO metaverse team reviewed where the balls landed for match-winning points and linked them to each Art Ball NFT’s metadata. This had the effect of making some Art Balls rarer than others, like the game-winners by Nadal and Barty.

The immersive and interactive nature of the Art Ball collection appears to add more excitement to the tournament. We expect the success of the Art Balls NFTs to inspire more forward-thinking NFT projects by the Australia Open and other sports leagues and organizations.