'What in the world': Rafael Nadal's bizarre disappearing act at US Open

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Rafael Nadal
    Rafael Nadal
    Spanish tennis player
  • Marin Cilic
    Marin Cilic
    Croatian tennis player

It’s little wonder Nick Kyrgios serves underarm against Rafael Nadal.

The Spanish champion resorted to extraordinary tactics in his fourth-round win over Marin Cilic at the US Open on Monday.

‘WHAT IS GOING ON’: US Open rocked by 'crazy' 51-year first

In an attempt to combat the Croatian’s massive serve, Nadal was standing way behind the baseline.

The World No.2 was so far back that one linesman had to change his position, and you could barely see Nadal while watching on TV.

Rafae Nadal was barely visible. Image: ESPN
Rafae Nadal was barely visible. Image: ESPN

When Nadal was at the bottom of the screen and Cilic served out wide, Nadal would literally disappear from view in order to return the ball.

Rafael Nadal disappeared from view at one stage. Image: ESPN
Rafael Nadal disappeared from view at one stage. Image: ESPN

Fans certainly noticed and took to social media to comment.

It’s certainly not the first time we’ve seen this from Nadal, and was a major factor when Kyrgios started serving underarm.

Because Nadal was so far back, Kyrgios played a number of underarm serves during recent clashes in Mexico and at Wimbledon.

The tactic is still divisive among fans and pundits, but who can blame Kyrgios when Nadal is almost in the front row of the crowd?

Rafael Nadal, pictured here at the US Open against Marin Cilic.
Rafael Nadal in action against Marin Cilic. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Zverev latest young gun to crash

Meanwhile, sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev doubled-faulted 17 times in his round of 16 exit to Diego Schwartzman.

The Argentine took full advantage of his German opponent's service issues to close out a 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium in three hours and eight minutes.

Zverev's serving problems have dogged him for months and they came back in force against Schwartzman, who advanced to the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows for the second time in the past three years.

The diminutive 20th seed broke serve eight times with the almost two metre-tall Zverev winning just 32 per cent of second-serve points and amassing 65 unforced errors.

"Alex had many problems with his serve. I am a big returner and took my chances," Schwartzman said.

"That helped me a lot. I knew I had the chance to win this match."

Earlier on Monday, Matteo Berrettini, the 24th seed, roared through to the last eight of a grand slam for the first time with a clinical 6-1 6-4 7-6 (8-6) win over Andrey Rublev.

with AAP

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting