Sometime’s it’s better to be lucky than good. Just ask Duke men’s tennis coach Ramsey Smith, who had the opportunity of a lifetime on Monday night at the Premier Live Atlanta Challenge, an exhibition match featuring Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov.
Up 40-love on his serve, Dimitrov asked a woman in the crowd to try and finish off the game for him. After all, it’s not really an exhibition unless some lucky fan gets to hit a few shots. On account of her high-heeled shoes, the woman politely refused, but she asked Smith if he wanted to play instead. Of course he did.
“I decided last second to go with the underhand serve and do everything possible to get a forehand on the first ball,” Smith said. “I know Rafa hates the underhand serve so I thought it was my only chance.”
“The ball may or may not have been out, but I celebrated like I won the point anyway."
Dimitrov played the exhibition just days after Nadal beat him in the Acapulco semifinals, but the two had only great things to say about each other.
"We have been in Mallorca together. We go out in the boat and catch some fishes," Nadal said. "Tennis is not forever but the friendship is.”