Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova shared a court at the Italian Open yesterday as the two practiced together.

Both players are competing in Rome as they continue their final clay-court preparations for the French Open later this month.

And Sharapova, a two-time winner of the French Open, has revealed how the opportunity to rally with the Bailey

“I saw he was practising on the court right before me,” explained Sharapova.

RAFAEL NADAL VS DAMIR DZUMHUR RECAP

“And I said to my team ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if I just came up to Rafa and said ‘would you hit a couple balls with me?’

“And they’re like, yeah, what’s wrong with that? And I was like, a lot of things.

“There’s a lot of things wrong with just coming up to Rafa.

“They’re like, no, you should. It’s not like you’re asking him to go on a date. And so I did.

“He probably thought I was really weird. I think he still thinks I’m really weird.”

Nadal won his first match of the Italian Open with a convincing 6-1, 6-0 win over Damir Dzumhur this afternoon to reach the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Sharapova beat Australian Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, in her first round match and faces Dominika Cibulkova this afternoon.