Andy Murray offers brilliant take on ‘quick thinking’ Rafael Nadal’s fall in Rome

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal takes a tumble
Rafael Nadal of Spain falls during his tennis match

Andy Murray has given his analysis of Rafael Nadal’s outrageous recovery after a fall at the Italian Open as he believes the Spaniard produced the “perfect illustration” of quick thinking.

The moment of skill from the 22-time Grand Slam winner came in the second game of the deciding set against Zizou Bergs in the opening round in Rome.

Serving at 0-1 (15-15), Nadal slipped and fell on Centre Court after Bergs sent his return deep, but the tennis great managed to get up and recover although he initially found himself on the back foot during the rally.

He eventually regained his composure and took charge of the point before finishing it off with a sublime drop shot.

It was a crucial moment as Nadal went on to hold serve and claimed the break in the next game before going on to serve out the 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over the world No 108.

Former world No 1 Murray took to X to break down Nadal’s quick thinking as he wrote: “I think the best athletes/players are the quickest thinkers and this is perfect illustration of this.

“Notice how Rafa gets up from the fall… Sees that the incoming ball is slow enough that he will reach it so takes a split second to wipe his right hand on his thigh in case he needs it to hit a backhand later in the point ❤️”

Nadal, who faces Hubert Hurkacz in the second round, wasn’t too happy with his performance his performance against Bergs as he admitted he needs to improve his position on the court.

“Today was not a good game for me. I didn’t play the way I really think I can and need to play,” he said. “I was able to find a way to win, and that gives me the opportunity to play again in two days, to show myself, above all, that I can do much better than today.

“That’s the feeling I get in my training sessions. Of course, improvement is important, because the biggest improvement is that I continue to play.

“That’s the biggest and most relevant thing for me. In Barcelona I wasn’t sure if I could continue. I’m serving much better than in Barcelona. I improved that. I feel faster. Sometimes I play too far from the baseline. That’s something I want to do better and hope to do better.

“I think I need to organise my position on the court a little better than today. For me, the first set of Madrid’s last game is a good reference for how I have to play. It’s a little easier for me here, because there’s no altitude. That’s a good example of the way I need to play. In Barcelona I couldn’t, but today I can do it.”