Rafael Nadal has failed once again, getting eliminated in the semifinal round of the 2016 Australian Open. This means the former top player will fail to defend the ATP title he won last year in Buenos Aires, Argentina and also suffered another disappointment after an embarrassing first round loss at the 2016 Australian Open.
Dominic Thiem of Austria is responsible for the latest Nadal flop winning in straight sets, 6-4 4-6 7-6 (4) including the thrilling third and final set where Thiem dominated the tiebreak round.
The 22-year-old Thiem, who is from Wiener Neustadt, Austria is currently ranked World No. 19 in the ATP rankings and the youngest player among the Top 20 in the world rankings in the men’s singles competition.
With his failure to defend the Argentina Open title, Nadal, who is currently ranked World No. 5, is expected to drop down in the world rankings after the new computations are in. Nadal beat Argentinean Juan Monaco, 6-4 6-1 last year.
Nadal fell to Fernando Verdasco in five sets in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year in Melbourne and another early exit in a minor tournament will add fire to the speculation that Nadal is already past his prime.
What made it more embarrassing for Nadal is that the Argentina Open is played on clay, the court supposedly is the favorite and strength of the “Clay Court King” from Spain.
Nadal was in trouble early in the third set when he went down, two games to none. The Spaniard fought back and both players played well enough to reach the tiebreak, where Thiem masterfully contained Nadal.
Thiem advances to the championship round where he will face Nicolas Almagro, who defeated David Ferrer in his semifinals match-up.
Nadal vowed after the Australian Open that he would bounce back in the next ATP tournaments. But with another disappointing exit, it appears the Spaniard’s struggles in the ATP tour continues.
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