Rafael Nadal has made a career out of retrieving shots that other players would just give up on, but today, against Gilles Muller, the Spaniard was given a taste of his own medicine. The duo played out a rally that brought the crowd to its feet and eventually needed a review to declare a winner.
Having won the first set, Muller, on serve, had the chance to level things up in the eighth game of the second set. The Luxembourg star put in a brilliant serve into Nadal's body, which the Spaniard was able to keep in play with a mistimed shot. But instead of smashing the ball, Muller decided to play a cheeky drop shot which the ever-reliable Nadal was not just able to get to, but he managed to place it near Muller's right side baseline.
The 34-year-old, however, was not ready to give up the point and somehow managed to chip the ball back with his back facing his opponent. The point appeared to be over when Nadal smashed the ball down into the ground on the other side of the baseline but Muller stretched every muscle in his body and got his racquet on the ball to send the ball looping towards the baseline on Nadal's side.
After exchanging a few shots, it was the Spaniard who took the initiative and placed a typical backhand down the line, that left the Luxembourg star stranded. The initial decision was in, but the latter decided to challenge the call. The replay suggested that the ball had caught the line by the width of a hair.
However, it was Muller who was the happier of the two at the end of the second set having broken Nadal in the next game to take a 2-0 set lead in the match.
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