Forehand has always been Rafael Nadal's most potent shot, crumbling his rivals with an incredible pace generated from every part of the court. There's one to remember among numerous forehand winners in the Spaniard's glorious career, although it did not come in the official encounter.
Rafa met Casper Ruud in last year's Buenos Aires exhibition and cracked a mighty jumping forehand down the line winner. It was probably Nadal's fastest forehand winner ever, as the crowd could barely see the ball! Rafa and Casper finished the previous season inside the top-3 behind Carlos Alcaraz.
They embraced the South American swing during the off-season, playing in front of a packed crowd and enjoying a lot. The Spaniard finished his official duties at the ATP Finals, struggling with an injury and losing four straight matches for the first time in 13 years before beating Casper Ruud to wrap up the season with a win.
Nadal ousted Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the Roland Garros final in June, the first for the Norwegian at Majors. Nadal and Ruud had their first stop in Buenos Aires, and the Spaniard celebrated a 7-6, 6-2 triumph. It was Nadal's first match in Argentina since 2016, prevailing in the opener and breaking the rival's resistance in set number two.
Ruud grabbed the first break in the opener's fifth game and held in the next one for 4-2. Nadal held in game seven and came from 30-0 down in the next one to pull the break back and gain momentum.
Rafael Nadal cracked a monstrous forehand in Buenos Aires last year.
Casper denied a set point on serve in game ten to extend the battle and reach a tie break.
Rafa claimed it 10-8 after an excellent point, gathering confidence ahead of the second set. The Spaniard built an early advantage and forged a 4-1 lead with another break on his tally. Nadal moved 5-1 up, and Ruud served to stay in the match in game seven.
The Norwegian did a fine job, and the Spaniard served for the victory at 5-2. Rafa blasted a jumping forehand down the line winner at 15-0, entertaining the crowd and putting a smile on everyone's face! Nadal held at love to emerge at the top and celebrate the win ahead of their second duel in Chile.
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