MADRID (AP) — Take heart, tennis hackers: Roger Federer has shown that even the best can look pretty bad on a shot.
An important shot, at that. One point from losing the Madrid Masters final to Rafael Nadal, Federer prepared to hit a forehand off a ball that bounced a few feet in front of him. Instead of flying back over the net, the ball kept sailing and landed behind the 16-time major champion, giving Nadal a 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory.
A quick look appears to show Federer whiffing entirely. Replays — various clips are available Monday on YouTube — make it appear possible that Federer's racket tipped the ball.
Either way, Federer managed to laugh at himself, saying after Sunday's loss: "Well, I've had more beautiful match points. ... I decided to take a chance, and it didn't pay off."