After the shocking exit at Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal’s bad run at the clay court continues with another disappointing defeat in the quarter-finals at Barcelona Open 2014. He was ousted by fellow countryman Spanish Nicolas Almagro in grueling three sets 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.
Rafael Nadal’s reign at Barcelona came to a surprising end by little known world no. 20 Almagro who has lost all his 10 matches against Nadal in past. It had been long rule of 11 years since 2003 when Nadal was defeated by Alex Corretja. He had won the Barcelona Open eight times.
Rafael Nadal started off the quarter-finals as routine business taking the first set quickly 6-2 and just when the spectators thought it to be yet another win for the reigning French Open champion, Almagro struck to stretch the second set down to tie-breakers. He won the second set taking the tie breaker 7-5.
Playing the third and deciding set, Rafael Nadal was broken in the seventh game by World no. 20. Nadal quickly broke back to level the match but Almagro capitalized on Rafael Nadal’s failing service game to gain another break point. He finally managed to dispatch the World no. 1 after getting second match point.
Rafael Nadal admitted of not being quite sure coming into this season of clay court and it is clearly reflecting in his game. He said playing on clay court after a hard court season is difficult. This is his second loss after he lost to Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarter-finals of Monte Carlo Masters last week.