'Ridiculous': Rafael Nadal stuns tennis world with 'unbelievable' act

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Rafael Nadal is seen here hitting a backhand during an Italian Open victory.
Rafael Nadal won in straight sets to book a spot in the Italian Open quarter-finals. Pic: Getty

Rafael Nadal is widely considered to possess the most devastating forehand in tennis.

During a routine straight sets win against Serb Dusan Lajovic at the Italian Open, the Spaniard emphasised the point in brutal fashion.

TOUGH BREAK: Naomi Osaka's sad announcement after US Open

‘HOLY HELL’: Aus Open champ in 'shocking' tennis dramas

The nine-time Rome champion came through 6-1, 6-3 against the 25th-ranked Lajovic, as his preparations for the French Open gather steam.

Nadal, 34, won his first Rome title back in 2005, and is bidding for a third consecutive clay title in the Italian capital, which would represent a remarkable 10th in total.

The 12-time French Open champion is returning to competition, having not played since winning in Acapulco in February, opting to skip the US hard court tour because of coronavirus concerns.

In an ominous sign for his rivals, Nadal showed few signs of rust ahead of his quest a record-extending 13th Roland Garros title.

One point in particular proved just how lethal the 34-year-old's game on clay is, with Lajovic and viewers left completely stunned by Nadal's brilliance.

Pictured here, Nadal's devastating forehand winner at the Italian Open.
This forehand winner from Nadal was out of this world. Pic: Getty/Tennis TV

Lajovic had the Spaniard scrambling with a wide kick-serve that Nadal had to hit from way outside of court.

The World No.2 almost ended up alongside a ball person sitting by the advertising boards at the side of the court when he sent back a devastating forehand return.

The reverse angle of Nadal's shot captured the incredible moment perfectly, as he whipped the winner back into the opposite corner that Lajovic served from.

The incredible moment left viewers in a spin on social media.

Nadal and Djokovic on course for final showdown

Nadal's straight sets win sets up a quarter-final showdown with Argentine eighth seed Diego Schwartzman, who dropped a set before recovering to see off Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Also through to the final eight is World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who battled past fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, to remain on a collision course for a second consecutive showdown with Nadal in the Rome final.

Krajinovic made long-time friend Djokovic work hard to reach the quarter-finals for the 14th time, just one fewer than Nadal.

Djokovic double faulted on the first of his three set points in the first-set tiebreak but a quick break in the second put him through in a tournament he has won four times.

"Never easy, I think, emotionally to play against someone that is one of my best friends for many years," said Djokovic.

The top seed is warming up for the French Open in 10 days time, having made the switch from the American hard court tour where he won the Cincinnati tournament played in Flushing Meadows before the US Open from which he was disqualified.

He next plays German qualifier Dominik Koepfer who ended the run of Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-0.

With AFP