Three-time champion Rafael Nadal was tested in the fourth round of the US Open 2019 against Marin Cilic on Monday as it took him some efforts to pull out the match in four sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in 2 hours and 49 minutes.
The world No.2 was back to work as he won a straightforward opening set. However, the Croatian played his best set of the season as he leveled back the match to 1-1 with some fans pondering if an upset was on the cards. The Mallorcan elevated his level in the following two sets as he coasted through to the quarterfinals.
During the fourth set, Rafael Nadal pulled off one of the best shots of the tournament to set up a match point with around the net stunner, leaving the crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in awe as he celebrated the shot with a loud shout and four fist pumps.
While serving at 5-2, 30-30, Nadal defended a big forehand shot from Marin Cilic with a reverse backhand. The former world No.3 went forward to the net as he attacked Nadal’s defense with an overhead cross-court backhand volley. The world No.2 went around the post and somehow sneaked it in.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion certainly held the crowd spellbound with his superlative shot but it was the reaction of the legend golfer, Tiger Woods which caught the eye of many. The shot was good enough to make Tiger Woods jump out of his seat and pull off a trademark fist pump.
“Just an incredible performance and awesome way to close out the match,” Tiger Woods tweeted afterward.
Speaking after the match, Nadal admitted that luck was on his side with that incredible shot. He said with a laugh, “It’s easy to describe and difficult to make. I followed the ball good because he had a good volley and I saw it, I ran fast to that ball.”
“I see at the last moment that there might have been the smallest space from that side. I think it was the only way to win that point. I hit it well but to hit that shot of, of course, you need some luck,” Nadal added.