Rio Open 2016: Watch Rafael Nadal unleashes ‘shot of the tournament’ on Nicolas Almagro

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Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is still bullish about his future despite not being able to play with the same kind of confidence he had in his glory days.

In his Twitter account, Nadal posted a picture of him practicing before a match at the Rio Open. Inserted in the post is a comment “I ignore the odds and take every serve as a fresh start.”

Nadal, who is still searching for his first title this season, punched his ticket to the quarterfinal round following a tough straight set win over Nicolas Almagro 6-2, 7-5.

Although it was Nadal’s 14th win in 15 head-to-head matches against his compatriot, Thursday’s match once again exposed his struggle in closing out big rallies.

Still, there’s a reason to be optimistic, if you are Nadal fan. With the score tied at 5-5 in the second set, Nadal nailed a vintage forehand shot winner that put the crowd on their feet. It’s so beautiful, it could wind up as the shot of the tournament.

Moments like this are hard to come by as of late with Nadal still searching for answers on how to regain his dominant form. If there’s one silver lining in his win against Almagro, it is probably that Nadal is still capable of pulling off impressive winners.

Despite coming off a first-round exit at the Australian Open, the former world’s no.1 had high expectations entering for the South American.

Obviously, it didn’t start well after losing to Dominic Thiem in Argentina. But perhaps, all Nadal needs is one good run in a tournament to keep the competitive juices flowing again.

Up next for Nadal is Alexandr Dolgopolov, a veteran no stranger to upset wins.

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