PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Madrid Open semifinals

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal lost in three sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Madrid Open semifinals this evening. The young Greek won 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 after two hours and 34 minutes of play.

Rafa has lost in the semifinals of all three claycourt tournaments he has played this season and has yet to win a title in 2019.

He was trying to reach his 50th ATP Masters 1000 final, and his ninth final in Madrid.

The defeat on the Madrid clay for Rafa comes just two weeks before he bids for 12th French Open title in Paris.

After the match, Rafa said:

It’s not been a good match. I fought and did a couple of good things mentally. I trained around 5pm and it was very hot but it was more windy, more cold. I felt the ball better yesterday. It’s not been my best night. My opponent has been better, when that happens you lose.

Tennis is about winning or losing. I’ve been able to win a lot on this surface over the years. This year it seems it’s not the way.

I don’t see myself losing that match if I play the level of Barcelona 2017 or in Australia this year. Maybe it’s not the truth, but it’s my feeling. (via George Bellshaw)

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60 comments

  1. It’s time for Nadal’s fan to realize that Nadal must think that it’s time to retire. Tsitsipas is an unbelievable player and He Won I love him. HE is only 20 yrs old. What a future in front of him 👍🤗

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  2. Rafa is time to get angry with yourself, you got all it takes but mentally are giving into Guys like Tsitpas that have nothing to lose and play wildly…..

    Focus in your ball and hit them hard,!!!!

    Sent from my iPad

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  3. Rafa to me you are the best but somehow what you actually have a problem with
    a concentration with phenomenal ball…..

    Tsitsipas was lucky to play with you but you must from now on focus your desire to
    Sim

    Sent from my iPad

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  4. To me Rafa is still The best and btigthtes player of all

    It is an honor forTsitsipas to play with Him and an accident to bit him

    Sent from my iPhone

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  5. It seemed that he had gotten is game together in the 2nd set, but lost it again. Our degree of disappointment is not due to Rafa, but ourselves. He is A#1 and we expect an A++ match every time as does Rafa himself. We don’t want to see his career slow down and finalize; but when that day arrives, perhaps he will continue in doubles. I hope so. Meantime, perhaps today we saw the next King of Clay.

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  6. I have so many memories of Rafa’s many years of amazing tennis, especially on clay. I think he should retire after this clay season before he is in danger of losing his exemplary status as the King of Clay. Rafa’s always been on top; I know he wouldn’t want to leave the game based on more and more substandard performances. You are still the best, Rafa, and you, and perhaps Roger, should retire while you still have amazing records that it will take the likes of Thiem and Tsisipas many many years to equal. It’s a good year to marry your terrific fiance, and start raising intelligent and beautiful children, as well as run your Academy and continue the great work of your Foundation. Your record, and that of Roger, is unsurpassed. Your fans care for you too much to want to see you gradually face repeated losses. You are the King of Clay and you and Roger will forever be the two greatest tennis players of all time. God Bless.

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  7. The truth is Rafa strategically did not want to play Djokovic hence he played the 3rd set poorly

    Only the Deep can call to the Deep

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  8. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) THAT WAS A GREAT STRONG MATCH AND YOU WERE SOLID ALL THE WAY……THERE WERE A FEW UNFORTUNATE NET OVER POINTS AND SOME MIS HITS BUT TRUTH BE TOLD….YOU WERE MAGNIFICENT FIGHTER AND GLIDER AND STRIDER AND RUNNER AQND YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL AND AGGRESSIVE AND POWERFUL OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) THE OUTCOME DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING……WHAT IS IMPORTANT THAT DESPITE ALL THE MATCHES AGINST MUCH YOUNGER GUYS, YOU INDEED PLAYED BEAUTIFULLY AND TOP TOP TOP TOP SOLID TENNIS BETTER AND BETTER WITH EACH MATCH……SO HEY……..YOU CAN HOLD YOUR PRECIOUS HEAD HIGH AND TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN YOUR SUCCESS. THE MATCH ENDED UP JUST A TINY BIT SHORT, BUT YOUR TENNIS AND YOUR IMPROVEMENTS ARE AS TALL AS THE SKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) I KNOW HOW CLOSE THIS IS WAS AND MUST FEEL DISAPPOINTING BUT SWEETHEART YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) I AM SORRY FOR THE OUTCOME BUT VERY HAPPY AT THE SAME TIME SEEING YOUR BRILLIANT TENNIS DISPLAYED OVER AND OVER AGAIN. NEXT TIME THE NET BALL WILL FALL IN YOUR FAVOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

    OVER ALL, IN MY OPINION, IT WAS UTTERLY CRUEL OF THE ATP TO SET YOU UP USING BOTH PRINCESS R AND N DRAWS EASY FOR BACKGROUND REACHING TO QF…..BUT THEN GIVING YOU ALL THE TOUGH YOUNG HITTERS…..BUT NOTHING IS NEW AND IT IS WHAT IT IS. YOU DID PREVAIL BEAUTIFULLY, SWEETHEART……..VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) DO NOT CONCERN WITH THE OUTCOME SWEETHEART, AND WHAT I SEE IS THERE IS AN ATTEMPT TO STOP YOU FROM BY PASSING PRINCESS R IN TITLES……CLEARLY ALL KIND OF TACTICS ARE USED WITH OTHER PLAYERS ALLOWING EASIER DRAWS FOR LESSER PLAYERS WHEN NOVAK OR R ARE NOT IN THE TOUR, AND THESE LESSER PLAYERS END UP WINNING TOURS SO THAT THE TOTAL TITLES GET SPREAD OUT AWAY FROM YOU. BUT IF WE LOOK AT YOUR TOTAL TOUR PARTICIPATION, AT YOUR TRUE COMPETITION, IN COMPARISON TO R. OR N. YOU CAN EASILY SEE THAT YOU ARE THE STRONGEST PLAYER AROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) R. HAS MUCH EASIER, TOURS, AND EASIER DRAWS, AND PHONY MATCHES. SAME WITH N. A FEW TIMES N ENDED UP HAVING A BY PRIOR TO SF OR FINAL……SO THAT IS STINKY SMELLY POLITICS……BUT WE LOVE YOU AND CARE AND KNOW YOU ARE UP TOP TENNIS GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) .STAY STRONG SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU HAVE THE GOODS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU HAVE THE ULTIMATE PASSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU HAVE CHARISMA PLAYERS CAN ONLY DREAM ABOUT. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU HAVE THE GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL ADMIRATION AND ADORING FANS ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) JUST THINK HOW STRONGLY AND AMAZINGLY YOU HELD UP WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART AND PLEASE YOU ARE THE TRUE VICTORIOUS GOAT NO MATTER WHAT BS TACTICS ARE HAPPENING LATELY IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. PLEASE TRUST THAT YOU ARE READY FOR THE NEXT TOUR AND THIS TOUR AND TODAY’S MATCH PROVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) LOVE YOU SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) HAVE A GREAT TIME BETWEEN TOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

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    • Fan Love, please stop with your conspiracy theories about the ATP, the tournament, R and N. The match was Rafa’s to win or lose.

      I am sorry Rafa lost but it’s not the end of the world. HE WILL BE BACK. Bad mouthing others doesn’t make Rafa’s loss any more palatable.

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  9. Rafaánimo… T hemos apoyado hadta el último mnt.. Hay k reconocer k el jugador griego ha hecho un gran partido.. Pero tú Rafa no has estado mal.. has tenido errores k te ha costado caro… Pero d esto tambien se aprende.. Te vemos en Roma.. SIEMPRE CONTIGO ADELANTE

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  10. Congrats to Stefanos. He played great in those crucial moments. Now he was beaten Novak, Roger and now Rafa. Not surprising. He’s 20, driven and super talented. Sounds like those 3 guys I just mentioned. Rafa is still the King of Clay with over 1100 matches in his career. Stefanos has over 110 matches so far. He’s just beginning. Rafa has a lot of mileage.

    Competition like this is great and is what drives the sport. This is the 1st year, the young guys have been super effective in defeating the champs. I am not running for the hills. Better that Rafa face all the adversity in the tournaments leading up to the French Open. He won these tournaments multiple times before that is why all his fans are so spoiled. At almost 33 next month, I don’t expect him to win every single match. He still brought the heat today with his fighting spirit. He’ll be back. Rafa’s only human. I always remember that. I hope Rafa is not too hard on himself. Always with Rafa.

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  11. I wonder. If the pending marriage has a wee bit of Rafa’s attention. I agree that Rafa ‘s not a fighter and thus loses the “killer” instinct going into defender mode. A by stander can see it in his body
    language and on his face.

    BELIEVE IN YOURSELF ,RAFA!!!! All the way THROUGH!!!!!

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  12. Every commentator says Rafa is one of the best volleyers in the game. Why is he not doing this more? Auger Aliassime and now Tsitsipas showed what an effective tactic this can be, but how rarely Rafa uses it. Every time he gets a short ball, he shd go in. Why not give it a go? Saves energy, and gives opponents a surprise.

    What is going to happen in Rome, he has the worst possible draw. Sorry, but I’m not feeling positive now. I hope some Rafafan can find a silver lining, because the last few weeks have been disastrous.

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  13. I dont think Rafa has recovered from that AO loss to Djoke. He played absolutely lights out tennis until that final, and then let Djoko into his head, just like Rafa got into Fed’s head. Rafa is a naturally modest person, his comfort zone is playing defensively, not attacking. That was OK when he was young, fit and fearless. Now he must play aggressively, and keep the points short. How many times did Tsitsipas go up to the net, and finish the point – that’s what Rafa shd have been doing. He must adapt his game, now that he’s getting older. His serving also was not like it was against Stan.

    Bitterly disappointed, because I felt he could have won this match.

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  14. Rafa your fans love you bad day but you are 5he King of Clay vamosssssssss 💪🎾❤️😘🌎

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  15. Okay! Rafaholics, you can start running for the hills now:)

    Tsitsipas played brilliantly, and I’m very happy for him, especially after the beat down he received from Rafa at the AO. The sweetest revenge for sure!

    But Rafa Rafa… King of Clay just didn’t have it today. But he’s not had it the entire clay season (glimpses every now and then, but nothing sustained). And can he discover his form in time for RG??

    Champ Rafa, with you always sweetheart! Next up, Rome!!

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  16. I’m very disappointed. Stef was brilliant – and I so hope he beats Nole tomorrow (despite the disadvantage of playing a match that didn’t finish until nearly midnight, which is ridiculous) – but Rafa didn’t play anything like as well as he did against Stan. He played well in the second set … I’m inclined to think it’s psychological more than anything else.

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  17. Oh no!! I really expected a victory tonight. Has he now passed his best ?? Very worrying that he’s not reach one clay court final this year.

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  18. i think nadal is missing the zip in the shots he needs to bring the most letheal weapon of his game the down the line forehand firing and get the zip on the shots….he is lacking the whole clay season he is not same we used to watch on clay courts ripping all opponents…..it is evident that something is missing from rafa game and i hope he bring it back as soon as possible…..best luck rafa always with you….vamos….

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