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Home » Rafael Nadal falls to De Minaur in Barcelona Open second round

Rafael Nadal falls to De Minaur in Barcelona Open second round

by Noe
Rafael Nadal falls to De Minaur in Barcelona Open second round

Rafael Nadal’s comeback tour in the Barcelona Open came to an abrupt end after he fell to Alex de Minaur in the second round on Wednesday.

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NADAL FALLS TO DE MINAUR FOR 5TH BARCELONA OPEN LOSS

Nadal lost a tough first set before yielding the match, 7-5, 6-1, in just his second Barcelona Open match this year.

The former world No.1 could not keep up with de Minaur after a close first set, with the Australian not dropping a point behind his first delivery in the first set, as per Infosys ATP Stats.

“I think about the only thing I might have on Rafa on clay is physicality at this stage of his career,” De Minaur said.

“I decided to try and make the rallies quite physical and long, use my speed to my advantage. It’s never easy against him,” he added.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was coming off an opening-round win over Flavio Cobolli before running through de Minaur.

It was Nadal’s fifth loss overall at the Barcelona Open, an event which he has won 12 times. He holds a 67-5 win-loss record in the tournament.

NADAL SUFFER RARE CLAY-COURT LOSS TO DE MINAUR

Nadal has played 17 times at the Barcelona Open, a clay-court event leading to the French Open.

The Spaniard won 14 of his 22 majors at Roland Garros.

De Minaur took 67 minutes to win the first set before eliminating Nadal in one hour and 52 minutes.

“I can probably say that I’m very, very fortunate that I didn’t play Rafa a couple years earlier on the clay. It would have been very, very different result,” the Australian said.

“An amazing experience and we move on. It’s been a great year,” he added.

De Minaur will next face No.16 seed Arthur Fils, a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 winner over German Daniel Altmaier.

TSITSIPAS, BAUTISTA AGUT, RUUD ADVANCE TO NEXT ROUND

Stefanos Tsitsipas opened his Barcelona Open campaign with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Sebastian Ofner.

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament,” the Greek tennis star said.

“The conditions here are very different to Monte Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my ‘A’ game again in Barcelona this week.”

“Today was a great test to see where I stand. I’m hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt,” he added.

It was Tsitsipas’ first win since he won the Monte Carlo Masters title last week.

Roberto Bautista Agut succeeded where Nadal failed, as the Spaniard beat Andrea Vavassori, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 for his 400th tour-level victory.

“The important thing is that I’ve done great work over these years, that I’ve had a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of,” the 33-year-old said.

Casper Ruud joined De Minaur, Tsitsipas, and Bautista Agut in the winners’ circle by pulling off a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Alexandre Muller.

Dusan Lajovic upset No.6 seed Ugo Humbert, 6-4, 6-4, and qualifier Marco Trungelliti dropped No.9 seed Nicolas Jarry, 7-6(5), 6-3.

In another match, No.14 seed Jordan Thompson defeated Jaume Munar, 6-4, 2-6,6-4.

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