Rafael Nadal dropped out of the top-2 in May last year. The Spaniard had a chance to return to this group last week, standing close to Alexander Zverev and hoping for a good result in Cincinnati. Instead, Rafa suffered an early defeat and failed to overtake the German.
Zverev is 130 points ahead of Nadal in the latest ATP rankings and maintains his position in the top-2 despite not playing for over two months! Rafa made his first appearance since retiring at Wimbledon, losing to Borna Coric 7-6 4-6 6-3 in the second round of Cincinnati.
Borna prevailed after a good performance after two hours and 51 minutes to remain on the title course and took vital points from Rafa at the end of the year. 1 battle. Nadal remains the leader of the ATP race after two Major titles in 2022 and has a good chance of becoming world No. 1.
1 again after the US Open. Rafa and Borna fought a close match with three break chances. Both rivals converted one in sets two and three and the Croatian prevailed with a lone break in the decider.
Rafael Nadal remains world No. 1.
3 behind Alexander Zverev.
The match started with six comfortable holds and reached 3-3 in 24 minutes. Borna attacked on the return in game seven, netting a smash winner to create a break chance, the only one of the set.
Nadal denied it and brought the game home to stay on the positive side. The rain sent them off in game ten and they returned 80 minutes later. The set reached a tiebreak and developed into an absolute smasher.
Rafa came back from 4-2 and claimed three points in a row for 5-4. The Spaniard netted the first set point at 6-5 but failed to convert it on serve. Borna saved the second set point at 6-7 and created his first set point at 8-7.
Nadal saved it with a forced error and denied the second to secure the result at 9-9. Rafa hit a double fault at 9-10 to lose the first set after an hour and 14 minutes! The Spaniard served well in the second set and waited for a chance on the return.
It came in game seven and he grabbed it after Coric’s loose forehand. Nadal went 5-3 with a winner at net and finished the set with another in game ten to force a decision after two hours and six minutes. Both players served under 50% in the final set and still dropped just 11 points in service games.
Coric produced five comfortable holds and kept the pressure on the other side. The Croatian forced Nadal’s forehand error into two break chances in game six. Rafa played another erratic forehand to get broken and go 4-2 down.
Borna served for the game nine win, holding with a forehand crosscourt to seal the deal and pull off a notable triumph.