'This is crazy': Rafa Nadal's 'ridiculous' moment in historic feat

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Rafa Nadal (pictured right) celebrates after winning the first set and (pictured left) Nadal hitting a forehand winner.
Rafa Nadal (pictured right) won the longest tiebreaker of his career, which included this remarkable shot at the Australian Open. (Images: Channel Nine/Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal produced some of his best tennis, which included a remarkable forehand winner, during a first set tiebreak against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

Nadal dug deep in the first set and played the longest tiebreak of his illustrious career, before overcoming Mannarino 7-6 (16-14), 6-2, 6-2.

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The Spaniard has now reached the last eight at Melbourne Park for the sixth consecutive year since his famous first-round defeat to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in 2016.

Despite winning in straight sets, Nadal was forced to play some unbelievable tennis in the tiebreak that lasted 28 minutes.

At 5-4 down, Nadal was on the run and was forced to hit a slice backhand on the return.

Mannarino hit a flat forehand to the opposite corner.

Nadal disappeared in the shadow at the back of Rod Laver Arena before whipping a jaw-dropping forehand winner across corner.

This sent the crowd wild.

On set point, Mannarino appeared to have the point won as Nadal was forced to scramble towards the net and he was just able flick the ball back.

Nadal guessed the right way on the reply and hit a forehand right into Mannarino, which was too much for the Frenchman.

Nadal celebrated winning the epic tiebreak with a number of passionate fist-pumps, which had the tennis world in awe of the tennis on display.

Rafa Nadal advances to quarter-final of the Australian Open

The pair played some of the best tennis of the tournament under the scorching sun in the first set, clinched by Nadal in a marathon tiebreak after 81 minutes.

Mannarino let slip four set points, including one on his own serve when he hit the ball straight at Nadal with an open court and was subsequently passed down the line.

The world No.69 was broken for the first time at the start of the second set and was outclassed from then on as Nadal found his rhythm.

"Everybody knows how mental is this game - it's a tough one," a relieved Nadal said.

Rafa Nadal (pictured) thanks the crowd and celebrates after winning against Adrian Mannarino during the Australian Open.
Rafa Nadal (pictured) reacts after winning against Adrian Mannarino during the Australian Open. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images)

"That crazy first set, I think, was so important and the beginning of the second.

"He had been playing some fantastic tennis during the whole tournament, winning against amazing players like (Aslan) Karatsev and (Hubert) Hurkacz.

"Today the first set was super difficult, his ball was very difficult to control, very flat, very fast and I am very happy that I survived that first set without a doubt."

Nadal will meet either third seed Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov, the 14th seed, in the quarter-finals.

with AAP

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