Rafael Nadal started his quest for a record 10th French Open title with a near-perfect first round. Dropping just three games, the Spaniard steam-rolled past Australian Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in one hour and 20 minutes.
The world number four lost only five points on his serve (40/45), made 84 percent of his first serves and hit 25 winners to three unforced errors. Flawless.
And if his performance wasn't merciless enough, he produced a bit of magic at 4-1 in the third set.
Chasing a lob by Groth, Nadal raced to the baseline and, with his back to the net, hit a forehand between his legs — the "hotdog" or "tweener" as this shot is called. Groth had made his move to the net after hitting the lob, but could only watch the ball zip by him for a down-the-line passing winner.
Nadal smiled in delight and raised both arms overhead as the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd roared in appreciation.
Even Groth had an amused look on his face and seemed completely shocked by the precision of his opponent's between-the-legs winner. All he could do was laugh.
— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) May 24, 2016
Best shot of the tournament so far? We certainly think so!
After the match, Nadal thanked the crowd for their support. “It's great to play here in France and in Roland Garros. I feel always the support of the crowd here,” Nadal said. “[This] is the most important place in my career, so to feel the support of the people here is something very special for me... Thank them for that.”
In the second round at Roland Garros, Nadal will face Argentine Facundo Bagnis, who beat Frenchman Kenny De Schepper in three sets.
Here's the full shot
Published Date: May 25, 2016 10:46 AM | Updated Date: May 25, 2016 10:46 AM