PHOTOS: Nicolas Almagro upsets Rafael Nadal in quarterfinals of Barcelona Open

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

16 comments

  1. I can’t see his humiliation any longer…..if he says he can’t find his intensity and rythym then don’t play just to loose….take time out…for as long as it takes….sometimes we have to GO DOWN to GO UP again, Federer went through it, take time out Rafa please!!….we can’t watch you loose anymore!!

  2. Rafa give yourself a rest regroup I am waiting for your wins . Do not listen to others listen to your head and body. And do not be hurt by other people’s comments they know nothing I am praying for your health . Enjoy your life .

  3. +Rafa will be fine. I feel he is going through something that only he can overcome. I personally feel he has to regain his passion and desire to “play to win”. I don’t know what will make that happen, or what it will take for this to happen (I have a feeling what will make it happen – but I don’t want to share– I may not be correct in my thinking anyway, but I think I am.) Even so, I hope it is a mental block that he breaks through very soon. My husband says that he needs to keep his serve at a higher speed as he did during the US Open, and that when his serve is working everything good follows. Come on Rafa,I have all the faith in you, but I’m still worried and upset for you. YOU MUST BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN DO IT. AND THAT YOU CAN PLAY AGGRESSIVELY WITH EVERY OPPONENT. Please regain that passion, desire and love for tennis. You ARE TENNIS Rafa. I love you, all your fans love you. Love Marylynn.

  4. Forgot to mention Rafa’s straight set loss to Djokovic in Miami – another example of Rafa playing far more defensively than he should.

  5. As I’ve been saying over & over & over again, against top tier players, Rafa needs to play MORE AGGRESSIVELY than he likes to play, which even he has admitted in recent interviews. Physically, he’s fully capable of doing so, but mentally, he hasn’t been CONSISTENTLY COMMITTED to that style of play, regardless of the score.

    This match was a perfect example. Rafa played very aggressively in the first set and won it decisively. But then in the second set, perhaps feeling he could just DEFEND his way to victory, Rafa backed off the baseline by a meter or two, began hitting with TOO MUCH TOPSPIN, resulting in short balls near the service line, which Almagro feasted on with winner after winner after winner.

    Rafa’s losses to Ferrer, Dolgopolov and Wawrinka(1st set before the back injury) earlier this year also resulted from Rafa playing FAR MORE DEFENSIVELY THAN HE SHOULD. He was also down match point to Andujar(Andujar!!!) in Rio for much the same reason.

    Most of Rafa’s opponents have finally come to the conclusion that THE ONLY WAY to beat him is to crowd the baseline and jump all over his short balls. It’s a high risk strategy, but nonetheless, one that has proven more successful this year than in years past.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Rafa needs to hear from a NEW voice, someone whom he respects enough to actually follow his/her advice. Uncle Toni and Francisco Roig can remain on the Nadal coaching staff, but the addition of Mats Wilander, Martina Navratilova or another former great champion would, IMHO, do wonders for Nadal’s confidence, strategy, tactics, and most importantly, on court results.

    VAMOS!!!

  6. sports is like that, keep up the good work. God bless u in many ways. inshallah

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  7. Rafa podría haber ganado ese partido perfectamente. Ni siquiera aprovecho los 2 break points que se hubiera puesto 5/5. Ahí Almagro estaba temblando y no apareció el Rafa de siempre. No creo que su juego este mal, porque por momentos juega excelente, lo que esta muy mal es su confianza. Estoy segura que la va a recuperar. Estamos contigo Rafa!!!!

  8. Rafael was playing so well in the first set and I do not understand what happened. Perhaps it is a confidence issue as great players do not become average players. we will stand with him and just believe that his A game will return.

  9. Watching Rafa loose? Loosing to Almagro?
    (this match, if anyone else; a very exciting match, but watching Rafa loose sickens my stomach!)
    Perhaps I’ve seen Rafa win so many times I’m not prepared to see him loose.
    With everyone else, I hope his health is good. If he is injured he hides it well.
    He is such a great sportsman! I wish him only the very best!

  10. I feel very sorry for that. Nadal is loosing one match in three the last weeks. I am sure he has some health problems and does not want to admit that. He should stop playing and try to recover as he did in 2012. Otherwise we are going to feel sorry every week from now on.

  11. I really can’t believe that is happen. The first set was on fire and then… I don’t understand. Rafa is in such delicate position but I truly believe in him and a wonderful month of june. He’s not ok at all. How can we help him??? Thank you Rafa for all that great memories! Love forever!!!

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