Tennis

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Rafael Nadal breaks focus because of brilliant moment in the crowd

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Rafael Nadal has come across a lot during his long and illustrious career, but what happened yesterday during the Italian Open will surely have been a first for him.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner is using the Italian Open in Rome as preparation for the defence of his French Open title, the Grand Slam that the Spaniard has made his own since first winning it 13 years ago.

Nadal has taken home the trophy from Paris an incredible 10 times, ranging from 2005 to 2017, only missing out on three occasions in that timeframe.

It's safe to say he's earned his King of Clay nickname.

Having been replaced at the top of the men's ATP rankings by Roger Federer at the start of the week, Nadal, 31, knows that he needs to win in Rome to replace his long-term rival.

His attention will then turn to winning in Roland Garros for an astonishing 11th time as the clay court season reaches its climax.

He was all smiles on court in the Italian capital on Friday during his quarter-final against home favourite Fabio Fognini, but for a rather bizarre reason.

Whilst preparing to serve during a crucial point in the first set, Nadal was interrupted by a toddler who broke the tension by shouting out 'I love you', much to the amusement of the crowd and the players, who proceeded to laugh and clap.

Watch the amazing clip below.

Though he did lose that set, he wasn't put off too much by the hilarious incident in the end, beating Fognini in three hard-fought sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to advance to his first semi-final in Rome since 2014.

What awaits the Spaniard? A battle against Serbian Novak Djokovic.

Although he's not the same Djokovic of yesteryear due to numerous injury problems sustained over the past 12 months, the 30-year-old can still be dangerous.

He'll also certainly have a lot to prove to people.

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Topics:
Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal
Tennis

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