Nadal loses in first round

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:53 IST

Rafael Nadal's 16-match unbeaten streak was brought to a juddering halt by Czech teenager Tomas Berdych on Tuesday.

Nadal loses in first round

Cincinnati: Rafael Nadal's 16-match unbeaten streak was brought to a juddering halt by Czech teenager Tomas Berdych on Tuesday. The world number two fell 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in a first round encounter at the Cincinnati Masters in Ohio. Fresh from a ninth title of the season at the Montreal Masters on Sunday, the Spaniard blew three match points in the final set before Berdych took the decisive tiebreaker after almost three hours of pulsating action. The two 19-year-olds fought out a stunning battle, with the Czech plundering huge winners from the baseline and Nadal chasing down everything as if he was playing his first, and not his 74th match of the year. The French Open champion snatched the first set 7-4 in a tiebreak but the worldnumber 36 hit back to take the second, thanks to some punishing groundstrokes that even the mobile Nadal could not run down. Berdych, who beat Roger Federer in the first round of the Olympic Games last year, roared back to level the match and then looked poised for victory when he broke serve to lead 5-4 in the third set. Nadal refused to give up though, and after breaking back, he held three match points in the 12th game only for Berdych to save them all and force a tiebreak. A Nadal double-fault gave Berdych three match points, and he clinched victory on his first to set up a second round match against Russian Mikhail Youzhny. There was, however, little first round trouble for third seed Lleyton Hewitt and fourth seed Marat Safin. They both won in straight sets to progress to round two. (AP)
Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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