Spanish veteran Pablo Carreno Busta has pulled off arguably the shot of the Australian Open thus far – and left the tennis world gobsmacked.
The 19th seed converted a crucial break point against Tallon Griekspoor in stunning style on Wednesday afternoon.
Busta chased down a miss-hit that landed just over the net and then spun back into Griekspoor’s court.
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But instead of giving up on the point, Busta ran around the net – which is perfectly legal in tennis – and hit a winner.
“Oh my goodness,” the commentator exploded.
“Totally legal and great anticipation there from Carreno Busta.”
The shot saw Busta take a lead in the third set, and he eventually prevailed 6-3 6-7(8) 7-6(3) 3-6 6-4.
RAFA INTO THIRD ROUND
Rafael Nadal is into the third round of the Australian Open for the 16th time as he chases grand slam title No.21.
Nadal defeated German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, who disposed of local hope Thanasi Kokkinakis in the third round.
The world No.5 won through 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, but the match was more hard-fought than the scoreline made it appear.
Nadal was given a stiff challenge by Hanfmann early in the match on Rod Laver Arena, with the world No.126 generating break point opportunities.
Still, in typical fashion, the Spaniard staved off the chances and proceeded to break Hanfmann’s big serve in the following game.
While Nadal would take the first set 6-2, it took 48 minutes under a hot Melbourne sun, illustrating the resistance of his opponent.
Early in the second set it was Hanfmann’s turn to hold up in the clutch, saving a break point after a 27-shot rally with a lackadaisical lob over Nadal at the net.
“This will be one of the slowest winners to go over Nadal‘s head all tournament long,” Jim Courier said on Channel 9.
“Maybe he thought it was going to go wide. But that winner‘s speed… It was not speeding by Nadal, just 66km/h.
“But what a save from the German on the break point trying to win a game for the first time in a long time.”
Expert Darren Cahill noted on ESPN that Nadal was not sliding into drop shots or short balls in an effort to protect his foot.
Still, Nadal hung tough and won through despite some errant shots when presented with break point opportunities.
He was able to get the job done against Hanfmann while maintaining his record of never having dropped a set in the second round here.
BARTY CONTINUES BRUTAL AUS OPEN CAMPAIGN
Ash Barty has cruised into the Australian Open third round with an emphatic 6-1 6-1 victory against Italian qualifier Lucia Bronzetti.
Barty picked up where she left off in the first round and raced out to a 5-0 lead on Rod Laver Arena.
Bronzetti was broken to love in her first service game and won just a single point on her next.
Serving conditions were tough due to the sun but Barty kept finding a way in 27-degree degree heat.
Bronzetti got on the board by holding serve in the sixth game, before Barty comfortably closed out the set.
Barty clinched the set in just 26 minutes after winning 27 points to 12.
But Bronzetti showed more fight to hold serve in the opening game of the second set, but she couldn’t hold her second and now trails 1-3.
Barty then broke twice more in between holding serve to take out the match. The 25-year-rold has now held 48 consecutive service games.
The Aussie closed out the match in 52 minutes after winning her opening-round match in 54 minutes.
The world No. 1 has now opened her Australian Open campaign by winning 24 out of 27 games.
“That was a lot of fun,” Barty said.
“We’re enjoying our tennis and are able to produce some pretty good stuff.”
Barty now faces big-hitting Italian Camila Giorgi in third round.
Unseeded French player Harmony Tan has broken down against former world No. 3 Elina Svitolina and left the court in a wheelchair.
Svitolina was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set but Tan fought back to take it 7-5.
She was down 5-1 in the deciding set before she was in so much pain she was forced to withdraw.
“Played a really brave match, and her variety gave Svitolina fits throughout,” The Tennis Podcast tweeted.
OTHER SIDE TO KYRGIOS’ ‘BOX OFFICE’ SHOW
Fans inside John Cain Arena on Tuesday night couldn’t get enough as Nick Kyrgios put on a show in his match against unheralded Brit Liam Broady.
Kyrgios unfurled his big bag of tricks including an audacious underarm tweener serve in the first set on his way to a straight-set win
After the match he even chugged a fan’s beer before describing the crowd as a “zoo”.
It led to the polarising star being labelled “Australia’s greatest showman” by cricket great Adam Gilchrist.
In discussing the match, however, respected tennis commentators David Law and Catherine Whitaker said there was another side to Kyrgios’ antics that had been overlooked.
“I don’t know where the line is between entertaining the crowd with antics and mocking your opponent who you are beating him so easily,” Law told The Tennis Podcast.
“I’ve been to Kyrgios (matches) for about seven years and this is the first time I just felt I wasn’t into it.
Whitaker agreed and said it was “disateful” to an opponent, ranked 139 in the world, who had fought hard just to qualify for the main draw.
“There are people here, the crowd inside John Cain Arena, the whole row of Australian journalists we are sitting next to in the media centre, people are still going for it and enjoying it and getting swept up in it,” she said.
“I am a little bit over the Kyrgios show, in fact I’m a lot over the Kyrgios show.
“I particularly did not enjoy him doing the Kyrgios show against Liam Broady,” she said.
“(Broady) has been a bit of a poster boy for the struggles and the grit required to be a tennis player on the fringes of grand slam main draws and grinding away on the Challenger tour.
“I found it, not disrespectful, but distasteful against Liam Broady today.”
While not pointing the finger at Kyrgios, Broady spoke openly about the experience of playing Kyrgios inside John Cain Arena and described it as “awful”.
“I mean, everyone is telling me (before the match), like, Oh you’ll really enjoy it. It’s going to be amazing. But I thought it was absolutely awful. I obviously wanted to go out there and win, so, I mean, losing matches in general isn’t enjoyable,” he said.
“You get sledged from the sides like you can’t believe that they don’t pick up on TV. So it was a very, very difficult atmosphere to try and handle, and like I said, he’s incredible at getting them behind him and he plays better for it.
The pair did share laughs throughout the match though, particularly when one of the members of the crowd demanded “Underarm Liam” to follow Kyrgios’ lead in the serving department.
But when asked if Kyrgios crossed a line, Broady admitted the Aussie’s got a bit of a reputation in the locker room.
“I know what Nick’s like and I saw a few of the guys in the lockers before and they said, ‘Are you ready for the disrespect out there?’” Broady said.
“I don’t think it’s personal. If I felt like it was personal and it was malicious, then I would probably feel like he crossed the line, but as I said, I mean, our job is to entertain the people and for them to enjoy the tennis that they come to watch and he does that and full respect to
him. That’s what tennis is about, I think.”
Pressed further on the “disrespect” other players had mentioned, Broady said: “Because sometimes he makes you feel stupid with the shots he hits, with the underarm serves through the legs and the little lobs and the dinks and then the big hits, and sometimes you feel like a bit of a club player out there. That’s what he does.
“Again, that’s one of his biggest weapons. I think if you told Nick to stop all of that showmanship and all the stuff that he does it would take away a big strength of his game. So, I mean, yeah, I am all for it, to be honest, even when it’s against me.”
MURRAY CALLS OUT CHANNEL 9
After surviving a five-set first-round thriller, Andy Murray was hoping to put his feet up and watch fellow Brit Emma Raducanu do her thing against Sloane Stephens on Tuesday night.
Instead, the three-time slam champion was left frustrated at Channel 9’s broadcast decision, taking to Twitter to voice his displeasure.
“Come on Channel 9 let’s get raducanu stephens on one of the channels instead of 2x Rod Laver!” Murray tweeted.
Raducanu needed three sets to get past Stephens despite taking the first 6-0, with the reigning US Open champion eventually landing on 9Gem, which Channel 9’s social media account made sure to let Murray know.
“FTFTY (fixed that for you) Andy,” WWOS tweeted. “Raducanu vs Stephens is now available to watch on @9Gem.”
AUSTRALIAN OPEN DAY 3 – ORDER OF PLAY
All courts from 11am
Rod Laver Arena
 Paula Badosa (ESP) def. Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-0, 6-3
 Ash Barty (AUS) def. Lucia Bronzetti (ITA) 6-1, 6-1
 Rafael Nadal (ESP) def. Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
Madison Brengle (USA) vs  Naomi Osaka (JPN)
 Alexander Zverev (GER) vs John Millman (AUS)
Show Court 1
 Elina Svitolina (UKR) def. Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 5-1 (ret)
Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) vs  Denis Shapovalov (CAN)
 Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) vs Xiyu Wang (CHN)
Qinwen Zheng (CHN) vs  Maria Sakkari (GRE)
 Gael Monfils (FRA) vs Alexander Bublik (KAZ)
John Cain Arena
 Camila Giorgi (ITA) def. Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
Not before 1pm
Madison Keys (USA) vs Jaqueline Cristian (ROU)
Not before 2:30pm
Stefan Kozlov (USA) vs  Matteo Berrettini (ITA)
 Hubert Hurkacz (POL) vs Adrian Mannarino (FRA)
Aussies in action
Fourth match: Radu Albot (MDA) vs Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)
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