PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Feliciano Lopez in Cincinnati

After two hours and 24 minutes, Rafael Nadal fell 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(3) to Feliciano Lopez on Thursday in third round action at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. That was Feli’s fourth career win over Rafa, who still leads the series 9-4.

Match statistics: aces (5-14), double faults (4-4), winners (27-43), unforced errors (17-23), total points won (98-97).

Feliciano Lopez will face either Kevin Anderson or Roger Federer in the last eight.

After the match, Rafa said:

I played well today. I didn’t play a bad match at all. I think Feli played great. I was there during the whole match with the right intensity, with the right attitude, doing the things that I have to do, trying to be more aggressive, trying to go to the net more often. That’s what I did. But today I played against an opponent that he played a fantastic match, I think. He played the best match ever against me, without a doubt. I congratulate him. That’s it.



  1. Rafa has to get more power in shots, improve the depth of his shots and not run around every backhand, bring in some unpredictability.

    Most importantly, he must be ready for the return on his second serve, because opponents are going to try to crush it.

  2. Let us true Raftans stand by our man . I loathe the behaviour of those who criticise . He lost narrowly and it takes time to get back to full fitness. He is getting there . Rafa forever

    • It takes time to get back to full fitness? Hello mcfly. The injury was a year ago. If you think recovering from such a minor injury takes a year, you must be a bafoon.

  3. Rafa does not have his complete game back, that is true. but it may be that Rafa has to develop some new components to his game, given what he is up against. It is true that he is now intimidated by serves sometimes, and hits soft balls, short and mid-court. He “knows” that that is not good, but he is too nervous to do otherwise. These shots suggest that he is “just trying to stay alive in the game.” – and that is a bad attitude, If he plays more aggressively, he fears losing control, So what he needs is to learn how to play aggressively and make his placements in the midst of that anxiety. To do that, he needs a good therapist and a new game plan. I also believe he will return, but not as the exact same player. Getting over the anxiety and the unnecessary sense of intimidation will involve a new set of practices, not laboring under the ideal of “getting back to the game he had.”

    • Rafa’s game plan is his business & has been all along, and that is how he achieved what he has thus far!!!! : ) Thankfully Rafa is moving forward w the right actions, w his right positive attitude, & w his right effective team!!!!! So no need to keep making an ant into an elephant here….. he has overcome his rather brief temporary discomfort on the court feeling tense….& his recent matches have been fabulous!!! He has moved on and won an impressive 500 Clay tournament & he is now back engaged, strong minded as ever!!!!

      Besides, anxiety is a natural part of life, it comes & goes…. everyone at one point or another experiences it, so it is not a huge deal and thankfully is easily overcome w few LIFE BASIC important ingredients:

      1.extra sleep for restoring, recharging & bringing balance to better breathing & to our physical body, and also extra sleep brings about positive changes to our brain ….it helps refresh our mind. It makes us more alert & more restful & ready to go!!!!

      2. Some gentle, peaceful meditation to bring tranquility & an immediate sense of well being just as soon as one sits quietly, privately, aware of their breath….that beautiful inner sensation is powerful……. there is an inner sense that all is well!!!! The gentle act of simply sitting w one self, breathing IN & OUT is extraordinary powerful in its benefits.

      3. Yoga stretches ….and taking time to inhale & exhale ….filling the muscles & body with nurturing Oxygen & calmness…..that total peacefulness helps make our day happier & makes everything seen & experienced in lighter light!!!!

      4. Extra attentiveness to nurturing foods…..protein fruits, vegetables, iron, etc….. that makes our mood better & gives us live energy….. forward physical motivation & it makes us feel great overall.

      5. Keep up our hobbies & fun & doing things we love & enjoy!!!! That is as balancing and essential as oxygen & good foods.

      SO…..anxiety is so no longer a big mystery … it can easily be overcome – NO medication or therapists are needed …. everything is out there available for all on line……. and SIMPLY following these basic life habits keeps our physical & emotional well being in tact.

      VAMOS DEAR RAFA & God bless you!!!!!!! : ) Enjoy everything in your path ….your family, friends, girlfriend, team, & have a great time preparing for your next match!!!!! Lots of love & happiness & God bless you!!!!

  4. To all you negative critics in here. – Why on earth do you comment at all? -This is Rafa Nadal FAN-site. True fans stand by Rafa not against him. – Shame on you! Rafa is a HUMAN (a loving and humble one of a kind) not some machine you can programme. – He has achieved so much in his life already. Show some respect. VAMOS Rafa ❤️ – win or lose – you’re special and a Champ. 🎾💪⭐️😘

  5. Mi querido Nadal lo que yo puedo percibir es que estas fallando mucho el servicio, no te entra el primero y el segundo es lento, recuerdo en epocas anteriores tu servicio era increible ganabas puntos con el servicio, el momento en que sirves mal te entra una inseguridad que dana todo tu juego por favor intenta un nuevo Coach y ayuda para fortalecer tu mente, con todo el respeto que se merece Feliciado Lopez el no tiene juego para ganarte pero su servicio es increible y eso hace que gana con facilidad sus juegos, Nunca he visto que tu hagas tantos doble foults, please recupera tu juego y por ever tu seguiras siendo para mi un Champion. Por favor recoge las sugerencias que te hacemos tus fans que te queremos mucho

  6. Would the armchair critics please tell us of their tennis playing recotd, where they compete etc so that the rest of us can assess the value of their opinion. Talk is cheap. is advice from amateurs. jean Palmer Winnipef Fan Club, Canada.

  7. Yes yes yes come to the net more you started to but backed off your sweeping ground strokes and excellent volleys will. Make a huge difference

  8. Please don’t get too down on yourself as it was only the tiebreaker which separated you both. You will get back to the very top I strongly believe that, it’s just time 🙂 and all the very best for NYC 🙂

  9. Congrats to Feliciano. It was a tight match. Great shot making and slices from both but
    Feli had the edge with his great serve which was also more reliable. However,
    Rafa was still playing very well. Only a few points in the tie-breaker was the difference.
    Rafa will do fine in NYC. Remember Andy was knocked out in his opening round in Wash.
    DC then came back to beat Djoker in the final at Montreal! Anything is possible in the
    game of tennis. Vamos Rafa! Play on! Look forward to your next tournament!

    • Yes indeed!!!!! Rafa will do GREAT in NYC….. his game is powerful & his brilliant stride to improve will come handy!!!!!
      I disagree here in that through out the match F serve was NOT more reliable than Nadal’s…. F had plenty of misses & frustration over his serve plus his share of DF…. it just got handier in the tiebreak….also, lets be sure to recall Rafa came up w 14 aces not long ago…….. lets encourage Rafa’s improved serve……

  10. Ola & good morning dear Rafa!!!!!! : ) Congratulations for playing well!!!!! So happy to read your positive take on the match!!!! You are always so insightful & humble about your matches….pre & post…..
    very very close…… for sure there will be other opportunities moving forward!!!!! You had some beautiful shots Rafa & amazing returns ……& good aimed serve w some nice aces & good placement!!!! The entire match you were the stronger tennis player… somehow his serve saved him in the last few moments……….
    It was so good to see your intensity & shots & speedy movement too!!!!!! : ) God bless you sweetheart & have a great time preparing for the Open !!!!!! Enjoy everything!!!!!!! : ) : )

  11. It’s funny how Move in or move out and I were blasted here, when we pointed out that Rafa’s win in Hamburg was NOT impressive at all and his level of play very worrysome for the US HC swing. Well, once again, se saw it right. Anyone believing the US Open will be a success…better get real. Rafa’s level is horrible and it’s been for a long time now.

    • J beer: agree. to me it is more mental than technical. he is panicked and can’t think straight. his choice of shots is worrisome. the most puzzling part of his game is the lack of depth and penetration of his shots. why he plays so short?

  12. rafa for is is the best ever, but of late in a effort to regain his confidence and i realize he has being badgered and torn down by the press, he enters the court looking angry and he seems to lost his joy. rafa needs to face facts its time for a change total change uncle Toni, and Francois they have nothing more to give ,you can see feliciano has improved with a new coach same with Stan same with Andy and same with Rodger 18 months ago Rodger was said to be over but he is no 2 in the world rafa is struggling to beat the 80-100 players in the world. rafa i believe you need to change your coaches and you with be back where you belong, vamos rafa …rafa forever

  13. Ohh sweethart 😥😘 Hope you get your selfconfidence back soon. Remember to believe in yourself, dear Rafa – you have every reason to. Win or lose, always with you Champ 😍 ❤️you – VAMOS! 🎾💪⭐️

  14. I really love you Rafa but your comment after the match is a joke in my opinion. Lopez played a solid match and normally this is not enough to beat you! You fought but you didn’t play well:/

    Take rest. Always with you. Vamos Rafa <3 <3 <3

    • Yeah how do we expect a player with such lack of self-criticism and analytical skills to get a new coach and mental help? The answer lies in his successful past: he’s won so much so team Nadal now believe they can solve everything. But they clearly cannot get Rafa out of this endless slump. He will win nada like this.

  15. Rafa didnt play a bad match but he played a tactically poor match. What was this of hitting right back to Lopez’s BH time after time when Lopez’s BH was on fire the whole night?

    Rafa seemed to have a brain freeze, couldnt think out here. The rare occasions of hitting to Lopez’s FH, Rafa could extract an error out of it.

    I also noticed that other than his unreliable serving, Rafa’s ROS is also getting worse these days. He just hit as hard as possible to return serves, theres not much variety in his returns. He hardly block back or chip back returns which are the more effective ways of returning against big servers. Many times, Rafa just overhit his returns, even when hes having BP advantage.

    Its clear that Rafa hasnt got his complete game back, certain parts have gone missing. I hope he find them soon and on top of that, improvise his game to counter the now popular power game.

    • I also think he could have lobbed more instead of trying to pass. His opponent was very close to the net for volleys….thus he should have lobbed to get him off the net.

    • I clearly agree with you. I didn’t see the entire match. I watched the first set and also yesterday’s match against Chardy. Here are a few things I noticed. He is just trying to hit the ball harder on his serve and is not getting a good direction. He ran around to hit as many forehands as possible and that actually gave Lopez time to get into position. He was aggressive but he did not hit the ball early. When he could have hit a backhand on the rise he tried to run around and hit a forehand. That to me is very poor strategy. I don’t mind him running around forehands but I hope he realizes that constantly running around forehands isn’t really going the results. I hope he try’s to get a good direction on his serve. Be able move the serve better and hit the ball on the rise from both wings. Get good length on his shots.

Leave a Reply