Fact Check

Amazing Behind-the-Back Tennis Return

Video shows an amazing behind-the-back return by Japanese tennis player Yoshihito Nishioka.

Published Aug 15, 2015

 (Martin Christopher Parker/Shutterstock)
Image Via Martin Christopher Parker/Shutterstock
Claim:
Video shows an amazing behind-the-back return by Japanese tennis player Yoshihito Nishioka.

It's a pleasure for us to finally be able to vet an "amazing sports video" that wasn't staged for a commercial and/or the product of digital imaging.

On 12 August 2015, #134-ranked Japanese tennis player Yoshihito Nishioka squared off against #153-ranked Jared Donaldson in the second round of the Aptos Challenger tournament, a match Nishioka won in three sets.

In the third set of that contest, Nishioka and Donaldson engaged in an intense, back-and-forth rally that the 19-year-old Nishioka looked to have lost as he was caught heading left on a ball hit to his right; but Nishioka instinctively flicked his racket behind his back in desperation and caught the ball perfectly, sending it down the sideline for a winner:


"Oh no ... I mean ... come on!" reported the stunned announcer, as Nishioka dropped his racket and raised his hands in an "Wow, look what I did!" gesture.

Although the Aptos Challenger is a little-known tournament, Nishioka's shot didn't escape the notice of the tennis world:

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.