Set point, nerves jangling, sweaty palms—it’s not all that uncommon for a player’s racquet to slip out of their hands on the followthrough of a serve under circumstances like these. It is, however, completely nuts for that racquet to then strike the court at such a precise angle so that it bounces neatly back to the player, who then catches it and arranges it in his hands in time to return his opponent’s shot.

It was an accident, sure, but that’s exactly what Fabio Fognini did yesterday in the first round of the Rio Open against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. Fognini won the point, the set, and then went on to win the match in three sets.


It worked out for him, but probably don’t try that one at home.