Rafael Nadal produced an uncharacteristic air-shot in the Australian Open final

2019 Australian Open - Day 14

You may usually associate an air-shot with that of an unexperienced player who has endured too many sets and is ultimately fatigued.

But not on this occasion.

Try one of the most experienced tennis players of recent history in the form of Rafael Nadal in his very first set.

Because that is exactly what happened in the first set of his crucial match in the final of the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic.

The match-up was perfectly poised to be a great one.

The number one ranked best player in the world against the ranked second best in the world. It was supposed to be a final to remember.

Though, it was certainly one to forget for Nadal, who lost in straight sets in a desperately disappointing display at the Rod Laver Arena.

In fact, the Spaniard himself hadn’t lost a single set in the entirety of the tournament up until the final, where he lost 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to an impressive Djokovic, who won the Australian Open for the seventh time to the dismay of Nadal, who has won it just once.

After his defeat and ultimately poor performance, a video has been posted on social media of Nadal’s most embarrassing moment.

In the very first set on Djokovic’s serve, Nadal shocks himself, the audience, the commentators and the world number one when he completely misses the ball by some margin on what seemed to be a relatively simple forearm return.

The gasps of disbelief were echoed around the arena as well as the commentary box, who claimed that they had now ‘seen it all’ after they saw one of the greatest tennis players of this generation clip the back of his own leg as he pulled back to hit the ball.

That effort all-but set the tone for Nadal’s entire match and ultimately ended what had been a wonderful tournament in the most catastrophic of ways.

The next Grand Slam event, though, is Nadal’s speciality - the French Open.

You wouldn’t bet against the 11-time winner more than reinstating himself in the best of ways in May.

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