Saturday, June 19, 2021
HomeSportsMiami Open: Ailing Rafael Nadal retires as Stan Wawrinka, Petra Kvitova fall

Miami Open: Ailing Rafael Nadal retires as Stan Wawrinka, Petra Kvitova fall

Ailing Rafael Nadal, struggling to cope with heat and humidity, retired from his second-round match on Saturday at the ATP and WTA Miami Open, handing 94th-ranked Bosnian Damir Dzumhur a 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 triumph.

Ailing Rafael Nadal-AV

Two-time Grand Slam champions Stan Wawrinka and Petra Kvitova also crashed out of the hardcourt event, but it was 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal`s exit that proved most stunning of all.

The Spanish fifth seed, a four-time Miami finalist but never a champion, was also a first-match loser at the Australian Open, only the second Grand Slam opener defeat of his career.

Dzumhur, 23, won 22 of the last 29 points as Nadal, 29, repeatedly spoke with a trainer and searched for solutions, asking for his blood pressure to be taken after two games of the third set.

“Can we not check the tension, if it is good or bad please?” he said. Told it was good, he said, “Continue.”

After dropping the third game, he sat with his head down as a trainer told him, “If you`re feeling bad, there`s no point to continue.”

Nadal battled through three more points and finally said he could not go on.

“Definitely I want Rafa to recover,” said Dzumhur. “He`s one of the best players in tennis and I wish all the best for him.”

Nadal squandered nine break-point chances before Dzumhur held in his first service game of the match. But the Bosnian double faulted away the last three points in the fourth game to surrender a break and Nadal broke him again to finish off the set.

Dzumhur broke Nadal in the third game of the second set but netted a forehand in the eighth game to pull the Spaniard level at 4-4. But the Bosnian responded by breaking back for a 5-4 lead, fist pumping after a backhand winner to claim the game, and held at love to force a third set.Swiss fourth seed Wawrinka, who has won titles this year at Chennai and Dubai, was ousted by Russia`s Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-3 while Czech eighth seed Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon winner, fell to Russian 30th seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-4.

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