- Maria Sharapova posted a video of a practice session she shared with Rafael Nadal in Rome, Italy.
- The former world number ones produced an epic rally, which Sharapova eventually won.
- Sharapova plays Ashleigh Barty in the Italian Open on Tuesday as she continues her comeback from a 15-month ban.
Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal shared an epic rally during a practise session in Rome, Italy, on Tuesday.
Nadal and Sharapova are preparing for the Italian Open, as the clay court season builds to the French Open, which gets underway at the end of the month.
Sharapova posted a 40-second video of an entertaining rally from the session on Twitter, which shows her winning the point by forcing 16-time major champion Nadal into an error.
Sharapova sends a powerful backhand to the baseline, which forces Nadal to run to the other side of the court so he can return the ball. His forehand was wayward, however, meaning Sharapova raised her arms in victory.
Watch the video below:
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) May 14, 2018
Sharapova told her Twitter followers that she got to enjoy “two minutes on court with the GOAT” – an acronym in sports for “greatest of all time.” She added that she was “so nervous” to have practiced with Nadal.
Sharapova is back playing competitive tennis having served a ban for testing positive for meldonium in 2016. She was suspended from playing for two years from June 2016, but had her suspension reduced to 15 months as she had committed “no significant fault.”
She returned to the WTA tour last year and though she has not won a women’s title in 2018, she is currently ranked 40th in the world.
Nadal, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back following his shock quarterfinal loss to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open earlier this month. He has already won two titles on clay this season and will be looking to use the Italian Open as a springboard to success at the French Open.
Sharapova takes on Ashleigh Barty in the Round of 64 on Tuesday.
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