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)