World No. 1 Rafael Nadal suffered his first defeat at the Barcelona Open since 2003, going down 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 to Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals. Rafa showed some form in the first set against Nico and then lost his way. Both players broke serve in the opening two games. Nico hit some deadly backhands but also racked up 15 unforced errors in the set. The second set was more even and it went to a tiebreak with Nico, who had never beaten his countryman in 10 previous attempts, coming out on top. The decider was scrappy and contained four consecutive breaks of serve before the sixth seed clinched victory.
“I had a lot of chances in the second set when I had the match more controlled but I didn’t take them,” Rafa told reporters. “As the match went on I was less calm but I still had openings in the third set at 3-1 and at 4-4 which I didn’t take. This is tennis and you just have to keep going.”
Once a champion, always a champion, win or lose. We love you Rafa! VAMOS!
Source: Reuters / Photos: AP, Corbis, EFE, Getty Images