Nadal Ousted In Barcelona Despite Spirited Effort Against De Minaur

Nadal Ousted In Barcelona Despite Spirited Effort Against De Minaur

by Zachary Wimer

Rafael Nadal's stay in Barcelona is over as he lost to Alex de Minaur in two sets, but it was a prideful battle.

The Spaniard dismissed suggestions from Stefanos Tsitsipas that he's favorite at the 2024 Barcelona Open, explaining that his only goal was to play matches at the ATP 500 event.

He would achieve that and more by beating Flavio Cobolli in the first round and getting a chance to play another match. As he told the media, he wasn't even the favorite against de Minaur, let alone for the event, and he proved to be correct.

The Australian produced a good enough level to oust Nadal from one of his favorite events, but it took a bit of him. It was not an easy match, and the 22-time major winner fought the entire time but ultimately ran just a little bit out of steam.

De Minaur opened with an early break, which was ideal for him, but he wouldn't hold it for too long. Quite quickly, the 14-time Roland Garros champion established control and ultimately turned around the score in his favor.

The match settled in a nice back and forth after that, but the Australian would jump ahead once more. It happened at 5-5 when he took a 6-5 lead and then held to win the opening set of the match 7-5.

It was a 67-minute set where Nadal just wasn't sharp enough when it mattered. He didn't create as many chances as de Minaur did, and he didn't convert them either.

The second set followed a similar path, although the pace of play was quicker. De Minaur once again jumped ahead and held for the 3-1 lead. Soon after that, he would get another break point chance and again convert it for the 4-1 lead.

From there, it was a rather simple journey for de Minaur, who was able to finish the off in two sets and eliminate the 12-time Barcelona Open champion, winning 7-5, 6-1 in what may have been Nadal's last match at the event.


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