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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

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He ended up losing a hard-fought battle with Rafael Nadal on Friday in Rome, but in the process, Murray reminded tennis fans of two things:

1. He's getting dangerously close to Grand Slam winning form again, with or without a coach, and …

2. He's one of the most clever, improvisational and gifted players on the tour.

More Rome Vids: Grigor Gets Punked

This beautiful squash shot off the racquet of Murray is living proof of both. Watch as Murray responds to Rafa's dropper by tracking the ball on the full sprint and then casually reaching out and flicking the ball neatly down the sideline, tucking in between a shocked Nadal and the line for a winner that brought the Rome faithful to their feet.

The shot is doubly effective because Murray makes contact with his back to Nadal, so the Spaniard can't really anticipate what's going to happen next. When he finally realizes which shot the clever Scot has played, it's too late to react.

At first Rafa looks surprised. Then he looks concerned. Then, as the ball lands in for a winner all he can do is roll his eyes and say “How did Andy do that?”

This was one of the shots of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, in what has turned out to be the match of the tournament thus far.