WATCH: Coco Gauff Pulls Off Rafael Nadal’s Banana Shot at Italian Open 2020

Published 09/17/2020, 4:05 PM EDT
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 16, 2020 Coco Gauff of the U.S. in action during the Women’s doubles Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill


American tennis sensation Coco Gauff pulled off her first-ever tour-level clay-court win by edging past reigning Australian Open quarterfinalist Ons Jabeur at Italian Open 2020. Gauff locked horns with two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza in the Round of 32. Unfortunately, she lost the battle in three sets.

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During the second set, Coco produced Rafael Nadal’s iconic forehand shot, popularly known as ‘Banana Forehands.’ Garbine began the point with a powerful serve, followed by Coco returning in the middle of the court.

Rafa-like shot from Coco Gauff

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Ninth seed Muguruza kept Coco on the baseline and she perfectly responded to the shots. With Coco coming up with a short ball, Garbine raced up the net and dropped a hefty down the line forehand.

As Coco was on the other end of the baseline, she read her opponent’s racquet. She immediately positioned herself, and with her impeccable groundstrokes, she reproduced some Rafa-like tennis.

Some brilliant banana forehands from Rafael Nadal!

Despite some good tennis in Rome, it was not 16-year-old Coco’s day as she lost  7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3, with her 15 double faults becoming her undoing. However, it wasn’t easy for Muguruza to pull off her first win against Coco Gauff.

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“It was a tough match,” Muguruza said. “The first set was tight, it could have gone either way. I was happy it went my way after a good fight. In the second set, I missed a couple of shots. I didn’t take the opportunities I had and she was there the whole time.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 17, 2020, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in action during her second-round match against Cori Gauff of the U.S. Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

“Then in the third set, it was just a battle. I managed to be solid, to play my game, and to take the opportunities I didn’t in the second set.”

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In her next match, Muguruza will play seventh seed Johanna Konta, who previously dismantled Irina-Camelia Begu at Italian Open 2020.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1905 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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