Watch: Maria Sharapova wins a point against Rafael Nadal on clay
10 Grand Slam singles titles, 23 Masters 1000 titles, 54 titles (an Open Era record) and all these on clay. Add to that, 50 consecutive sets won (most on any one surface), and 81 straight matches won (again, the longest single surface win streak by a male). The numbers don't lie. There is only one King of Clay and that is Rafael Nadal.
And yet, Maria Sharapova was able to take a point when she was up against the Spanish maestro. The Russian star, who is making a steady comeback after her return from suspension, took on Nadal on the clay court in Rome. Later on, she took to her Twitter handle, to express her excitement.
"Two minutes on court with the GOAT, Rafael Nadal, #BucketList. Was so nervous," Sharapova wrote on Twitter. She also posted a video of the two exchanging rallies.
Here's the video:
As we can see from the video, Sharapova is going toe-to-toe with Nadal on his favourite surface. After a few shots, the 5-time Grand Slam champion manages to put Nadal in a tight spot. She first forces him to commit to one side with a series of strong forehands before pushing him to the other side with a powerful cross-court backhand.
Nadal scampers across and reaches the ball. However, he cannot control his return and the ball goes out. Sharapova celebrates the point by raising her arms.
Both Sharapova and Nadal are set to take the court in Rome this week. Nadal will be targetting an 8th Italian Open title as he looks to put last week's defeat at the hands of Dominic Thiem past him. If he does manage to claim the title, he will also regain his No.1 ranking from arch-rival Roger Federer.