Nadal schools young star with epic running winner

Rafael Nadal has exacted revenge on Denis Shapovalov at the Italian Open, thanks to some brilliant shots like this one.

The seven-time champion methodically worn down his Canadian opponent in a 6-4 6-1 win to reach the quarter-finals on Thursday.

The Israel-born teenager saved eight break points in his opening two service games before finally dropping his serve midway through the first set.

One rally summed up Nadal’s dominant display, with Shapovalov doing everything in his power to win the point, only for Nadal to produce a brilliant running winner down the line.

As you can see above, Nadal had no right to win the point, leaving Shapovalov stunned by the epic winner.

How does he do it? Image: Tennis TV

“He was really serving big and I had some mistakes with the return,” Nadal said. “It was not a comfortable match against a lefty who serves big and goes for his shots.

“He’s good in all aspects. The only thing he needs is a little bit more time.”

Shapovalov, who is ranked a career-high No.29 this week, stunned Nadal in the third round in Montreal last year to deny the Spaniard a chance at regaining the No.1 ranking.

He has another chance to regain the top spot this week and will replace Roger Federer at No.1 if he wins an eighth Rome title.

Rafa was too good. Image: Getty

Nadal, who hasn’t won the Italian Open since 2013, will next face Fabio Fognini, who beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-4 to reach his first quarterfinal in 11 appearances at his home tournament.

Novak Djokovic progressed with a 6-1 7-5 victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas to face Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who dismissed German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1 6-2.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic accounted for Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4 while British No.1 Kyle Edmund was valiant in defeat to second seed Alexander Zverev, falling 7-5 7-6 (13-11).

Edmund next faces ninth seed David Goffin, who was leading 6-2 4-5 when Juan Martin del Potro retired because of a groin injury.

Cilic faces 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4 6-7 (7-3) 6-2.

with AAP