ATP Cincinnati: Rafael Nadal loses to Borna Coric

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ATP Cincinnati: Rafael Nadal loses to Borna Coric

World no. 3 Rafael Nadal will not become world no. 1 next Monday. The Spaniard experienced an early Cincinnati loss after returning from an abdominal injury, leaving Ohio with no points. Rafa experienced a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 loss to Borna Coric in two hours and 51 minutes for his second consecutive defeat at this event following the 2017 quarter-final.

Thus, Borna is now 3-2 against Rafa in their ATP matches, playing well and moving into the last 16. It was Nadal's first match since Wimbledon, and he looked a bit rusty. The Spaniard allowed the Croat to hit over 30 unreturned serves and 36 winners.

Rafa stayed on a 21-27 ratio, which was not enough for a better result. Nadal's first serve worked well, although he struggled on the second and hit seven double faults. The entire encounter offered three break points, with a single break on each side in sets two and three.

Rafael Nadal experienced an early loss in Cincinnati.

The match started with six comfortable holds, reaching 3-3 in 24 minutes. Borna attacked on the return in game seven and hit a smash winner at the net to create a break chance, the only of the set.

Nadal denied it and brought the game home to remain on the positive side. The rain sent them off the court in the tenth game, and they returned 80 minutes later to continue the battle. The set reached a tie break and turned into an absolute cracker.

Rafa came back from 4-2 down and claimed three straight points for 5-4. The Spaniard earned the first set point at 6-5 but failed to convert it on his serve after a terrible forehand drive-volley. Borna saved the second set point at 6-7 and earned his first set point at 8-7.

Nadal saved it with a forced error and denied the second to lock the result at 9-9. Rafa hit a double fault at 9-10 to lose the opener after an hour and 14 minutes! The Spaniard served well in the second set and awaited an opportunity on the return.

It came in game seven, and he seized it after Coric's loose forehand for a 4-3 advantage. Nadal moved 5-3 up with a winner at the net and closed the set with another in game ten to force a decider after two hours and six minutes.

Both players served under 50% in the final set and still lost only 11 points in service games. Coric produced five comfortable holds and forced Nadal's forehand mistake in game six for two break chances. Rafa played another wayward forehand to get broken and fall 4-2 behind.

Borna served for the victory in game nine and held with a forehand crosscourt forehand to seal the deal and earn a notable triumph.