Rafael Nadal's defensive play is legendary, and the Spaniard demonstrated why once more during his first-round match against Jordan Thompson at the 2022 French Open.
The 21-time Grand Slam singles champion, who has a staggering 13 titles at Roland-Garros to his name, was in imperious form on Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday as he wore down the Australian time and again.
Nadal produced his usual stunning array of groundstrokes and indefatigable play at his second home on the red dirt in Paris. But no point better encapsulated what makes him so special on the surface than one which left Thompson draped over the net in disbelief and exhaustion.
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With a 6-2 2-0 lead already on the board and Thompson serving at 40-30, desperate to survive another game, Nadal produced a quite miraculous set of shots to defend his own side of the court and come away with the point - leaving Thompson utterly incredulous in the process.
"Rafa Nadal - amazing!" roared Eurosport commentator Barry Millns.
"Thompson, well, he won't throw in the towel but he might feel as though he wants to because he has been played into submission here.
"How did Nadal win that point?!"
Annabel Croft added: "How on earth?! If you had freeze-framed some of the shots here, and how far out of position he was, coming back from defensive positions. The adjustment of the racquet face, just to put the ball in an awkward place.
"Even from 40-15 up, still no guarantee of getting through a service game!"

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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic could be set to face his great rival in the quarter-finals in what is a very lopsided men's draw at Roland-Garros with rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz also in that half of the bracket and a potential opponent in the semi-finals.
The 34-year-old Serb, who will make his Grand Slam return having missed the Australian Open, will open up with a match against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, while Nadal will look to keep his fitness through the tournament after having recovered his health ahead of the start of the main draw.
Despite the fact that the world No. 1 has been declared the favourite to defend his title on the red dirt in Paris after he defeated Nadal in the semi-finals last year, his coach Goran Ivanisevic has backed the Spaniard as being the man to beat.
Perhaps the former Wimbledon champion is just attempting to pile the pressure on Nadal and ease the burden of expectation on Djokovic, who leads the pair's head-to-head record 30-28, but either way, his views come as somewhat of a surprise.
"When I saw the draw, to be honest, I said, ‘okay, Nadal is going to get to the final', and so Novak was out,” Ivanisevic told .
"For me, there is only one favourite at Roland Garros and that is Nadal. Even with what has happened with his foot in Rome, I always think that.
"Injured, not injured, he is always the favourite here. It is his home, his court. He knows all the good bounces, all the bad bounces, every nook and cranny.
"Whether he plays well or badly, under the sun or not, it changes nothing. Rafa is incredible. I have enormous respect for him.
"In the final [of the Australian Open], [Daniil] Medvedev could not close the match and you must never do that against Rafa! Anyway, I said seven or eight years ago that Rafa and Novak would have more than 20 Grand Slam titles, and we are there with Nadal."

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