Rafael Nadal loses to De Minaur in second round at Barcelona | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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Rafael Nadal loses to De Minaur in second round at Barcelona

AP |
Apr 17, 2024 10:27 PM IST

Nadal, back from an injury layoff, looked like his old self for brief moments in the second-round match but couldn't keep up with the 11th-ranked De Minaur.

Rafael Nadal's first tournament since January lasted only two matches with the Spaniard losing 7-5, 6-1 to Alex de Minaur at the clay-court Barcelona Open on Wednesday.

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after losing his round of 32 match against Australia's Alex de Minaur(REUTERS)
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after losing his round of 32 match against Australia's Alex de Minaur(REUTERS)

Nadal, back from an injury layoff, looked like his old self for brief moments in the second-round match but couldn't keep up with the 11th-ranked De Minaur.

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The 22-time Grand Slam champion had comfortably defeated 62nd-ranked Flavio Cobolli in straight sets in the first round on Tuesday in what was his first competitive match in more than three months.

Nadal again looked injury-free on Wednesday but was never in control against the in-form De Minaur, who picked up his second career win over Nadal.

It was only his fifth defeat at the Barcelona Open, a tournament he has won a record 12 times.

Nadal is returning from yet another injury layoff and hadn't played since an exhibition match against Carlos Alcaraz in March. Before this week, he had played only three competitive matches this year — all in Brisbane in January — before skipping the Australian Open.

Nadal also withdrew from Monte Carlo, saying he his body wasn't ready. Nadal is a 14-time winner at the French Open, which begins next month.

It isn't clear yet if Nadal will play at the upcoming Madrid Open.

The 37-year old Nadal had hip surgery last summer and said 2024 will probably be his last year playing on tour.

BAUTISTA AGUT'S 400TH

Roberto Bautista Agut rallied to defeat Andrea Vavassori 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to earn his 400th tour-level victory.

The 35-year-old Spaniard is the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins.

“To me it’s just a number," Bautista Agut said. “The important thing is that I’ve done great work over these years, that I’ve had a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of.”

OTHER RESULTS

Third-seeded Casper Ruud advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alexandre Muller, while sixth-seeded Ugo Humbert lost 6-4, 6-4 to Dusan Lajovic.

Ninth-seeded Nicolas Jarry lost 7-6 (5), 6-3 to qualifier Marco Trungelliti, and 14th-seeded Jordan Thompson got past Jaume Munar 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

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