Rafael Nadal says goodbye to Barcelona Open after losing to a sensational Alex de Minaur

Wednesday, 17 April 2024 at 18:01
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After an exciting return to the clay court of the Barcelona Open 2024 for Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard has not been able to overcome the second round of the tournament after falling against one of the favorites, Alex de Miñaur 7-5, 6-1.
In the first set, Nadal would quickly understand that the challenge of De Minaur was going to be much more complicated than the first round against Flavio Cobolli at the Barcelona Open. At the first change, Rafa suffered a break that the Australian would confirm to take a 2-0 lead. The Spaniard then saved a break point to cut the lead to 2-1. With 3-2 in favor of De Miñaur, Nadal would take advantage of his first break chance to tie 3-3 and resurrect their aspirations in the first set.
Nadal was ahead for the first time in the match winning his serve to lead 3-4. However, De Minaur would step on the accelerator and, with 5-5 on the scoreboard, he would endorse Nadal a break in white to have the opportunity to win the first set with his serve, the Australian took the set by a very disputed 7-5 between the two.
In the second set, Nadal would have to turn the situation around if he wanted to reach the round of 16 of the tournament. However, De Miñaur was not going to give him any respite. At 1-1 and with his first break point of the game, the Australian broke Nadal's serve to confirm it later, going 3-1 up and putting his qualification to the round of 16 on track.
Throughout his career, Rafa has come back from worse situations against him in a match than the one he was in at this moment of the duel against De Miñaur. However, to be honest, the Australian was proving to be much more solid than the Spaniard, who can be happy with the fact that he has returned to competition after the hell he has been through with injuries.
The pace imposed by De Miñaur was diabolical, and with another break to take a 4-1 lead he was going to leave the match and the elimination of Rafa from the Conde de Godo. At 5-1, the Australian won again with an empty set, his fourth of the match, and would close his qualification for the round of 16 with a final break to take the second set 6-1.

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