Rafael Nadal loses in Argentina Open semis [PHOTOS]

On Saturday afternoon in Buenos Aires, top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal slumped out of the Argentina Open, losing his semi-final to Dominic Thiem in three sets.

Thiem won 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4) to advance to a Sunday final against the winner of the match between fellow Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer.

Rafa dropped serve in the ninth game of the opener to allow the 22-year-old Austrian to serve out for a one-set lead.

Our champ fought off a break point in the seventh game of the second as the big-hitting Thiem threatened to run away with the contest.

But the 14-time major winner made the most of his lifeline to break in the 10th game to level the semi-final.

Thiem, who once trained for his matches by carrying tree trunks on his back to beef up his physique, nipped ahead for 2-0 in the decider.

But back came Rafa to level at 2-2 before Thiem saved a match point in the 10th game.

In the tiebreak, however, it was Thiem who proved the stronger, stretching to a 6/1 lead.

Rafa saved three match points but the Austrian held his nerve to give himself a shot at a fourth career title on Sunday.

Source: AFP

59 comments

  1. I AM ASHAMED OF MANY OF YOU SO CALLED RAFA FANS , THINK OF ALL THE WONDERFUL MATCHES WE HAVE SEEN AND THE JOY OFF WATCHING HIM. WHAT EVER RAFA DECIDES TO DO IS HIS BUSINESS ,SO YOU MEAN PEOPLE MUST BE SO CLEVER
    THAT NOTHING EVER GOES WRONG FOR YOU.ON YOUR LIFE THAT YOU CAN WRITE HIM OF TAKE A HIKE

  2. Well well,,, what next for rafa nadal,, if he does. Not get a new coach soon like now,,, he will be written off,, we the fans are always behind him,,, but he is doing nothing to help the situation,, SEE A PHILOLOGIST,,GET SOME BLOOd TEST,, GET A NEW COACH,, GET UP.ND DO SOMETHING,, GET MARRIED,,, WE CAN SEE U ARE STRUGGLING,, OR GET UP ND HAND UP YOUR TENNIS RACKET.,, why are u always tired,, change your diet,,,please please please,, do something,,,,,, we . The fans are so sad to see,, youbl

    • It’s only a game one will win and one will loose.Rafa makes so much monie , he only attend the sports to entertain the crowd around the world.No need to be Nasty????.

  3. Well, yesterday a so-called fan Elizabeth Howard labeled me about my negativity.
    Was i so negative? Nope, i was just telling the truth.
    You can blame all the condititions you want to avoid the truth: the extreme weather, Dominic Thiem played so well like Djokovic, etc. But if you watched that match yesterday, you would see a few technique points.

    Rafa’s topspin forehand didn’t cause much trouble to a one-handed bachkand guy like Dominic Thiem. In his prime, he really bullied Federer with that shot but now it seems like his topspin no longer has much “spin”, it turned out to be favour for a good flat shot. Thiem, Fognini, Dustin Brown, Rosol just takes advantage. Rafa footwork is much slower now. But that’s not his fault cuz he is going to be 30 soon. I won’t spam but uncle Toni really needs to walk away. He had about 2-3 months working with that new racquet but that ‘s completely not the root of the problem.

    I admire Rafa for his hardwork but i wonder if he is on the wrong track.

  4. I feel that the lower-ranked players who never won a grand slam or a ton of titles
    are luckier than Rafa because they remain completely under the radar all the time.
    Whenever they lose a match they just move on to the next tournament without a word
    or peep from the media. It’s no big deal for them. I know the bar is set so much higher for
    Rafa but I wish the media would just cut him some slack and just let him move quietly to the next
    tournament. Too bad Rafa can’t be under the radar for a change.

    Whenever Rafa loses a match, he just can’t escape the public scrutiny from the media.
    After a while, it just becomes a lot of noise and over-analysis of his game, his every point, etc.
    He has plenty of game left in him. The match today wasn’t a blow-out, but a tight 3-setter.
    Congrats to Thiem. I still enjoyed the match today. You can’t always win. Almagro finally
    beat Ferrer after 15 attempts. Congrats to Almagro as well! There’s enough tournaments and opportunities for everybody.

  5. The way Rafa is playing right now He will never be able to go not even quarter final on grand slam , It’s not he lost his game, it’s because everyone on the tour playing their power game and only RAFA could not bring any power on his game, That’s why he can’t win , He is done as long as he don’t Chang his game, I hate to say it because I m his big fan, but this is sooo truth

  6. Rafa fan I agree , Rafa must make the right decision for him and not what anyone else wants . It’s very sad and I hope Rafa can work out what he wants to do that’s best for him

    • Maria : for the first time I agree with you on what Rafa fan said although I believe that having a new coach is absolutely necessary If he would choose to continue playing. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as we think, Rafa has to consider his sponsors in his decisions.

      • Sponsors get their return and have from this great player. They are not a factor in his decisions. I understand, from listening to the commentators that he had “stomach pains”, it was an issue yesterday also. Let us not be negative. Real supporters are there in bad times as well as good times. We have been blessed to support Rafael Nadal. Real support stand firm.

  7. I always thought it was a mistake to go to Buenos Aires, even Rio. It is too hot and it is a 250 tournament. What good competiton can he get from that? If it is to gain confidence it is even more pressure because he has to win. It won’t help to gain confidence.

    I love Rafa, that is why I am worried and think he needs a new coach, a new voice and someone to plan his tour with more common sense. That issue about family loyalty is soooo ridiculous!!! and I am a family person with 5 kids and 9 grandchildren and we all love each other but never would happen something like this.

  8. I’m sorry but he has to change most of his team. I just cannot understand how his team has not focused on his serving. Rafa gets broken so easily these days. He cannot break the opponent 5-6 times in every match. The speed and the serve are the biggest issues for me. He never gets any free points.

    I miss the glory days…

  9. just cant bear these loses. maybe rafa should really stop playing – at least for the moment. I’m just tooooo sad!!!
    Someone wrote about Djokovic being everyones problem – but he isnt rafas problem. rafa has a problem with himself and therefore with everyone and anyone. in fact djokovic has had it even easier because rafa has been a shadow of himself in the last years.
    for rafa to continue playing in this way continuously is crazy! better if he stepped aside – analysed himself in every way – his game, his psyche, his body, mind and work out a way to rise again – if he wants to. Take some months off – even a year. To continue playing like this is even more detrimental for his confidence.
    Oh rafa, you cant imagine how i miss seeing you play the way you used to – getting to the finals more often than not – and the clay court season – wow how wonderful it used to be. Now its all gone – for the moment or?????????

  10. PS: VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) I forgot to mention WE LOVED how you came back in the tie break with returns closing the gap….sorry time ran out……..
    We are sending a special massive comfort hug…. for you & for your on going unbelievable efforts & improvements. We know this is not easy moments of post missed opportunity…… but that’s all it is…..a missed win…..life goes on and you are entitled to win and entitle to not win……..Please do not care about any outside responds or opinions since YOURS is the most important relating to you. You are entitled to your private personal life, and like all of us you are entitled to be human and fragile at times. BUT TRUST ME DEAR RAFA, you are extraordinary and bright as the stars!!!!!!! : ) Know you tried your best for today and that is great enough. . People who love & care about you totally understand and accept everything about your precious life, and will always be encouraging and supportive. SO THAT FACT is what is important. YOU TAKE BEAUTIFUL CARE dear Rafa & keep your head high up for being such a good person and trying your hardest. PLEASE keep your solid faith in yourself that whatever obstacles there are now, they will pass! AND PASS THEY WILL!!!!!!!! : ) Keep your precious heart in tact, and your passion and always feel good about who you are, and your brilliant efforts. As importantly, pay zero attention to external low handed tennis critics as they are never ever objective or fully informed. PLEASE keep up your gut feeling of inspiration and positive attitude. THAT IS YOURS and always will be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )
    Behind the scene and in private moments, please have zero pressure on yourself because you truly give it all and doing everything right. Everyone is human and you too have no reason to have any doubt or regrades. VAMOS SWEETHEART & know all of us fans are right there with you!!!! In an hour or two, please look at the amazing success you have had elevating your level to TOP current competition …..that is heroic given your longevity in TOP TENNIS. In the end of the day, making a semi final is great accomplishment, so congratulations on that, and please take time to appreciate your on going hard work & efforts. PLEASE EAT A NICE FAVORITE MEAL & take good care celebrating YOU….& marvel at the goodness in your life. vamos sweetheart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Have a great evening & keep smiling! : )

      • Elizabeth – my comment is not directed at Rafa, its directed at the nonsense comments from ‘fan love’ who has his/her head firmly buried in the sand. I have only the highest respect for Rafa as a human being and a gentleman, even before Rafa the Player.

  11. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    I wished uncle Toni showed some dignity and stepped down so Rafa could finally hire a real coach before it’s too late.

  12. Rafa gave it his best. Unfortunately his best is nowhere good enough these days. If he develops confidence by winning a few matches in a row, I suggest he join the Challenger circuit, but even there he’s not guaranteed to win against anyone. His opponents are very highly motivated now, and their body language is more positive than his.

    A new coach is not the answer. I believe he simply needs to come to terms with his ‘new body’ and he will be fine. Fine ish. Just another ordinary player now. Rafa must hurt so much. I feel your pain baby… cry a bit, get married, have kids, refocus your life and play the Champions tour. Even his previous rivals must be annoyed at his inability to pose a challenge anymore.

    Still love Rafa. Thank you for the memories! Hopefully you create a few more. I’m not holding my breath:)

  13. No it’s not gonna be a positive one but it may help some of you get prepared. I’ve watched Nadal matches since 2003 and what I see, without a doubt, is that he’s now playing even worse than a year ago (and: no, fall 2015 was not at all a comeback). The body language and the lack of any initiative to make amendments tells me this: this is Rafa’s last year on the tour. I even doubt if he will play the entire season. He will not even qualify for wtf this year at the rate he’s going. Will miss him!

    • For God,s sake J Beer just leave him alone. sure things need to change ,a new coach for example would be ideal but that,s some thing Rafa will have to decide for himself. I wanted Carlos Moya as his coach but he,s gone with milos Raonic so that,s not going to happen hope he has better luck in Rio,but your,e comments are pure CRAP

      • You horrid creatures will be classy enough to apologize when he indeed retires this year?

  14. VAMOS DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) You had everything going for you and it is was a good match……never mind the score…. there will always be other openings for you dear Rafa !!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) You had many fantastic bright moments in this match !!!!!!!! : ) Please be sure to view this match & see that you had a fabulous game….and there are many great things you did fantastically….. I think the lines calls were not correct many times, and the warning you got was absurd given by another nobody umpire that wishes to be noticed & lacking in tact. Your time was not any difference than what the 2 of you took all match long….and suddenly out of the blue this nobody umpire wanted to feel important but in the long run, folks like him do not go far in life because they lack something much more important and that is common sense discretion . Given the situation, he had poor judgment , and his warning was ridiculous given the heat and the timing of the match. Also he did not over rule many incorrect line calls. When he came down to so call examine the line, he called an out when it was clearly an in IN good ball on the left hand side near the corner…..that was in the beginning of the match. When T served in the 5:4 2nd set, he got away with a couple of miscalls saying your good returns were out….. and also some of his out serves were called IN. Same in the 3rd set….. BUT in the end of the day none of this is really that important sweetheart! None of that makes no difference sweetheart, you played beautifully and with positive energy despite the hot temp. For sure you can take a lot of great solid positives from this game and know that you are ready & competitive for the next match !!!!!!! : ) Enjoy your time off & on practice & keep smiling! : ) You have a lot of precious projects going on and you are one precious outstanding man!!!!! : ) VAMOS DEAR RAFA & have a nice break between your tours!!!!!!!! God bless you and I am sorry it did not go your way but hey…..it is done and you always try your best & that is enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Over all your game is in the rise and you are a fantastic determined classy player!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Daveed got away with many miscalls on his favor and that was so obvious that Publo CUEVAS played MUCH BETTER & STRONGER THAN Daveed, but with so many miscalls, IN CRUCIAL TIME of the match, Publo ended up loosing, BUT both Publo and Daveed know Cuevas played the better game!!!!!! : ) I think umpires and line folks get away with way too much inaccuracy in the last year.
    Vamos sweetheart & have a great time with your team !!!!! : ) God bless you & lots of love & happiness to you & your fabulous team !!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 VAMOS & have a nice evening !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

  15. Losing to some body that is not so great and in your own backyard

    Alarm bell ringing

    Rafa and team sit and take some decision

  16. Should have won the match
    but too many unforced errors in 1 st set

    I think this days u cant wait upto tie breaker to finish match
    he should have complete the match earlier

    But rafa is playing good…playing good depths
    good drop shots and strong forehands
    he is just freezing on important points and this issues continue from 2015

    Just change of coach doesnt going to build ur confidence rafa but only match wins or masters wins will bring back the confidence back

    If rafa feels he needs new voice he should try

    Its now not about rafa playing bad which was more of issue in 2015 but its confidence issue

    Still staying positive and i will still not say its over
    but time is running out fast

    Btw thiem played geeat

  17. You are still my champ. It was just pure bad lock on tie breaker. You were much better player than him. Think about bright future in front of you. Good thing you are healthy and still have lots of time to play again. Enjoy your life.

    • I am as big a Rafa fan as you, but I don’t think you and I watched the same game. Rafa was bad, Dom was good, as simple as that. A champion does not allow himself to be broken, especially not as often, regardless of how often he breaks back. Rafa is done unless he changes coaches ……..

  18. I didn’t see the match but I’m suspecting Rafa was not 100% fit from the stomach pain yesterday. Just recover fully Rafa and be fit for next tournament. Vamos Rafa!

  19. This is just a small blip. No problems for Rafa. I look forward seeing Rafa destroying Djokovic on Philippe Chatrier.

  20. Can he>Rafa and his team put him together again? I don’t want to read anymore ‘ Rafa looses again’ and not even to high ranked players! Take a deep Refleccion Rafa!

  21. It’s SATURDAY AFTERNOON …… in what time zone are you?

    As for Rafa, big a fan as I am, it’s time for a NEW COACH or time to RETIRE, else he’ll spoil his excellent win-lose record, especially on clay.

    It’s a sad day for Rafa fans ……… 🙁

  22. Well now Rafa loses to Thiem. Is there anyone out there who still believes that Uncle Toni is the best coach for Rafa. Uncle Toni, Rafa NEEDS ANOTHER COACH, ANOTHER VOICE, a DIFFERENT VOICE. You are letting Rafa waste his career out of family loyalty. Rafa has good years left – get out of his way!! Rafa has no confidence left. He is not tough. There are too many questions remaining. Rafa get a NEW or ADDITIONAL coach!!!!

    • The moderator wants only positive comments (literal quote). Well here is mine: well done Toni, good plan, great tactics, well done. Third loss of the season only.

    • Uncle Toni is the best coach in the world. I believe that Rafa and Toni deliberately lull Djokovic into false sense of security to destroy him at FO2016.

    • Toni definitely WAS the best coach for 10 years, but he was only good at exploiting Rafa’s natural talent and ability to play hard, fast and tough with a strong young body. Now that Rafa is at the tail end of injuries from a pounding that his body took as a result of his style, Toni doesn’t have a clue as to what to so. He has no knowledge of developing a different style that still exploits Rafa’s natural talent but compensates for his tired, worn-out body. Rafa now needs a style that will allow him to play with less movement and less running, the way Federer does; a style that allows him to deliver shots that are difficult to return, and makes it difficult for the opponent to make him run all over the court. Sadly, Toni does not understand this, and Rafa is too good of a person to tell him uncle that. Good for Rafa that he is the ultimate gentleman and nice guy, but as for Toni, …………………. O_O

      • Abu, you are brilliant. I do hope that Rafa will read your comments and hire you as a coach. If you don’t hear from him in next few days, please approach him. With your guidance, he will probably come back to No1.

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