Rafael Nadal was eliminated by Borna Coric as soon as he entered the competition in Cincinnati

Rafael Nadal lost to Borna Coric in his first official match since his withdrawal due to a tear in the abdomen on the eve of the Wimbledon semi-finals against Nick Kyrgios in early July (7-6). [9]4-6, 6-3) Wednesday-Thursday night in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters 1000.

“Everything will not be perfect right away.On Sunday, the Spaniard warned. You cannot expect to play at an extraordinary level from the very beginning. Once you know this, once you accept it, you must be humble enough to hold on to the tools of the moment. » World number 3 against the Croatian ghost wasn’t enough.

Nadal’s lack of rhythm

He came into the center with just a few days of high-intensity training on his legs and was little sure he could serve 100% for the duration of a game, having been extra careful to protect his core in the last few days, Nadal was quite relaxed now that Nadal started the game. He’s solid in his commitments (one breaking point to save in the first set), but he showed significant shortcomings on the comeback, often lacking the precision to block Coric (no opportunity to break the set).

Playing only two practice sets in a month and a half, Mallorcan’s rhythm was lacking and he was clumsy in some key moments, especially in the decisive game of the first set, where he made a big mistake in a high volley. Besides the first two double errors of the match, he had achieved a set point, the second placing the round 152nd in the world.

Spaniard still has ten days to prepare for US Open

Slightly sharper in recovery games in the second set, Nadal took advantage of Coric’s two forehand errors to make the game’s first timeout 3-3. When he returned to the height without shaking, he seemed to be physically stuck in the middle of the third hit. His first serve percentage dropped abruptly (59% in the first set, 58% in the second, and 42% in the third), and Coric charged to break 3-2.

“Rafa” surrendered a few minutes later. Coric dominated the Spaniards for the third time in five matches. The 25-year-old Croatian, who finished 12th in the world in 2018, is therefore one of the rare players to have a positive record against the man with 22 Grand Slam coronations.

He will challenge another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut, in the third round on Friday. Nadal still has ten days to approach his best before the US Open, so he will come close with a single game in the legs.

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