Rafael Nadal has been handed a place in the last-16 of the Italian Open after Nicolas Almagro retired in the first set with an a knee injury.

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Nadal comes to aid of injured opponent

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VIDEO Nadal comes to aid of injured opponent. Source: Tennis TV Nadal comes to aid of injured opponent

Nadal hardly had to get his socks dirty to extend his winning streak to 16 matches.

He was leading 3-0, 15-30 when Almagro bent over toward the red clay court and grasped his left knee.

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Nadal quickly went over to Almagro's side of the net to ask what was wrong and console his countryman before helping him back to his chair, a touching gesture rarely seen on the tennis circuit.

All class from Nadal. Image: Getty

Clearly in pain, Almagro got some medical attention but quickly retired from the second-round match.

Almagro tried to walk over to Nadal's chair to apologise but the World No.4 quickly ended any thought of that, meeting Almagro on his side before embracing him with a hug.

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Nadal checks on injured Almagro

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VIDEO Nadal checks on injured Almagro. Source: Tennis TV Nadal checks on injured Almagro

The Spanish great also checked in with the doctor to see how serious the injury was.

"It's difficult to see what's going on now just after what happened," Nadal said.

"He felt something on the knee."

Image: Getty

It's just the latest example of why Nadal is widely regarded as one of the nicest guys in tennis.

In October last year he stopped a match he was playing so a distraught mother in the crowd could find her lost child:

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Nadal stops match while mother finds child

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VIDEO Nadal stops match while mother finds child. Source: ATP Nadal stops match while mother finds child

He also received a raft of praise for his incredibly gracious runners-up speech at the Australian Open in January:

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Rafael Nadal's incredible runners up speech

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VIDEO Rafael Nadal makes one of the great speeches by a player just beaten in a grand slam final. Source: 7 Sport Rafael Nadal's incredible runners up speech

Nadal has won consecutive clay-court tournaments in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

He's aiming for an eighth title at the Foro Italico as he prepares for the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.

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Red-hot Nadal wins third-straight title

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VIDEO Red-hot Nadal wins third-straight title. Source: Tennis TV Red-hot Nadal wins third-straight title

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