Sunday, 19 August, 2018

ATP Barcelona: Rafael Nadal ousts Garcia-Lopez to set Klizan clash

Novak Djokovic is struggling to rediscover the form that made him world No 1 MANU FERNANDEZ AP Novak Djokovic is struggling to rediscover the form that made him world No 1
| 27 April, 2018, 01:03

The victor of that match could face off against top seed Rafael Nadal, who plays Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena in his first match of the tournament later on Wednesday.

"I've had a very hard time in the last 12 months with the injury and everything else that's happened", Djokovic said after his first match win in Monte Carlo. He is now being coached by former Tennis player Carlos Moya having been trained by his uncle Toni Nadal for almost 27 years.

His latest setback is not the shock it once might have been.

Djokovic is trying to return to form after a lingering right elbow injury.

However, a reunion with long-time coach Marian Vajda this month had sparked hopes Djokovic could still steer his career back on track.

Tennis world No 140 Martin Klizan has beaten Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Barcelona Open
MANU FERNANDEZ AP Tennis world No 140 Martin Klizan has beaten Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Barcelona Open

"There are only three players who I see have the ability to stop Rafa from completing yet another sweep of the year's big clay-court titles - Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, and Dominic Thiem", Woodbridge said, as quoted on Tennis World USA. He was well below his best against Klizan, however, as the Slovak claimed his first victory against a top-20 opponent in just over two years.

Coming off his 11th Monte Carlo title, Nadal has won 11 of his 12 ATP Tour matches this season, with the only loss coming from an injury retirement in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

"I felt pain in three different parts of my body while warming up, and wasn't able to perform to my best", he said.

Japan's Kei Nishikori retired during his opening match against Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday.

Thiem, who was hammered by Nadal in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals last week, had little trouble in beating Slovakian lucky loser Jozef Kovalik 7-6 6-2 and he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the last four after the Greek teenager ousted 10th's seed Albert Ramos-Vonolas.


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