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Rafael Nadal rolls back years with no-look overhead shot to stun Carlos Alcaraz | Tennis News

Fans were treated to an action-packed thriller as Carlos Alcaraz defeated Rafael Nadal, to clinch victory at the Netflix Slam tennis exhibition match on Sunday. It was an entertaining thriller as the defending Wimbledon champion reigned supreme, winning 3-6 6-4 14-12 in Las Vegas.

Rafael Nadal stunned Carlos Alcaraz with a no-look overhead shot.
Rafael Nadal stunned Carlos Alcaraz with a no-look overhead shot.

Nadal made his return after sustaining an injury in Brisbane in January, which ruled him out of the 2024 Australian Open. The Brisbane International was his comeback after missing out almost a year due to a hip injury.

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Nadal dominated the first set and looked like he would seal an easy win. But Alcaraz had other plans and staged a comeback in the second set and then claimed victory in the tie-breaker.

Nadal showed signs of good form, with his immaculate shot selection. The highlight of his performance was in the first set, when he hammered a sensational no-look overhead shot that stunned everyone, including his opponent. It happened in the fourth game with Nadal leading 3-0 and 40-30. The 20-year-old had hit a lean backhand cross-court winner to save a breakpoint. The 39-year-old served to Alcaraz’s forehand, and then sent a deep approach shot. Alcaraz tried to lob the ball over the veteran’s head, who sprinted back and hit a no-look overhead smash and the crowd went roaring.

Here is the video:

Alcaraz had a dominating start, surging to a 5-2 lead in the first set. Then Alcaraz somehow held to stay in the set. But Nadal sent three aces en route to take the game and also the first set, 6-3. Alcaraz wasn’t going to give up to his idol and fought back in the second set. He ran to a 3-0 lead, and then Naal made it 3-1. Training 1-4, Nadal saved three break points to keep himself alive. Then a drop shot gave Alcaraz a set point, followed by a forehand which saw him claim it 6-4.

With the match, it went into a deciding 10-point tie-breaker and it was closely-contested, with Alcaraz finally winning 14-12.

This could also be Nadal’s swansong year after seeing her career get affected by injuries in recent times. Nadal was expected to make his return at the Doha ATP 250 event in late February, but pulled out as he wasn’t ready to compete yet.

The French Open is the next Grand Slam tournament in line this year, and Nadal is the record champion in men’s singles with 14 titles. He will be looking to gain some form, and is also participating in the Indian Wells this month.

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