Nadal Loses to De Minaur in 2nd Round at Barcelona

Spain's Rafael Nadal gestures as he leaves the court after losing against Australia's Alex De Minaur during the ATP Barcelona Open "Conde de Godo" tennis tournament singles match at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona, on April 17, 2024. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)
Spain's Rafael Nadal gestures as he leaves the court after losing against Australia's Alex De Minaur during the ATP Barcelona Open "Conde de Godo" tennis tournament singles match at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona, on April 17, 2024. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)
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Nadal Loses to De Minaur in 2nd Round at Barcelona

Spain's Rafael Nadal gestures as he leaves the court after losing against Australia's Alex De Minaur during the ATP Barcelona Open "Conde de Godo" tennis tournament singles match at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona, on April 17, 2024. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)
Spain's Rafael Nadal gestures as he leaves the court after losing against Australia's Alex De Minaur during the ATP Barcelona Open "Conde de Godo" tennis tournament singles match at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona, on April 17, 2024. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)

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.
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.
“The moment I lost the first set, the match was over,” Nadal said. “I can't play a three-hour match right now. This wasn't the place for me to give everything I have. We'll see what happens in Paris. I want to be competitive there, that's where I have to give it all.”
Nadal is a 14-time winner at the French Open, which begins next month. According to The Associated Press, he said he will try to play at the Madrid Open next week but didn't fully commit.
“I didn't want to take any risks,” Nadal said. “The important thing here was to play and I played. To be on the court is great news.”
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.
“It's natural that this was probably my last match here,” Nadal said. “I really enjoyed playing here. It was unimaginable to win it 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.
The 37-year old Nadal had hip surgery last summer and said 2024 will probably be his last year playing on tour.



Sabalenka, Medvedev Advance as Rain Continues to Disrupt the French Open

30 May 2024, France, Paris: Belarusian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka in action against Japan's Moyuka Uchijima during their women's singles second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex. Photo: Loic Baratoux/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
30 May 2024, France, Paris: Belarusian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka in action against Japan's Moyuka Uchijima during their women's singles second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex. Photo: Loic Baratoux/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
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Sabalenka, Medvedev Advance as Rain Continues to Disrupt the French Open

30 May 2024, France, Paris: Belarusian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka in action against Japan's Moyuka Uchijima during their women's singles second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex. Photo: Loic Baratoux/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
30 May 2024, France, Paris: Belarusian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka in action against Japan's Moyuka Uchijima during their women's singles second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex. Photo: Loic Baratoux/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka stayed out of the rain and moved into the third round of the French Open on Thursday.
The second-seeded Sabalenka beat Japanese qualifier Moyuka Uchijima 6-2, 6-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier as showers again affected play at Roland Garros.
The inclement weather, which is expected to last for much of the day, halted play on all courts not equipped with a roof for the third consecutive day, The Associated Press reported.
“It’s going to be a bit tricky today. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” tournament director Amélie Mauresmo said.
Sabalenka, who reached the French Open semifinals last year, will next face Paula Badosa, a close friend and her doubles partner for this year’s clay-court Grand Slam tournament.
“It’s always tough to play your friend,” Sabalenka said. “But we know how to separate court and life.”
No. 4 Elena Rybakina, the Wimbledon champion in 2022, advanced by beating Arantxa Rus 6-3, 6-4.
Fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev also reached the third round after his opponent, Miomir Kecmanovic, retired while trailing 6-1, 5-0. The Serbian player decided to quit the match after 55 minutes of play.
Three days after defeating Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Alexander Zverev beat David Goffin 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
“The crowd is always unbelievable in Paris, since we got the two new roofs it’s even more electric,” Zverev said. “When you guys are rooting for me, it’s even better.”