Rafael Nadal’s Shocking Exits in the Last Five Grand Slams

The Quint takes a look at the early exits by Rafael Nadal in the last five grand slams.

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Sports
3 min read
Rafael Nadal. (Photo: AP)

World number five, Rafael Nadal suffered a devastating loss in the first round of the Australian Open after losing to Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (6), 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Nadal had a disappointing 2015 due to injuries. His fitness has improved since last year but the results seem to stay the same.

In the last three grand slams, Nadal has exited in the first round (Australian Open), third round (US Open) and second round (Wimbledon) respectively. He made it to the quarter-finals of the French and Australian Open last year.

1. First Round Exit in 2016

Fernando Verdasco consoles Rafael Nadal in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open. (Photo: AP)
Fernando Verdasco consoles Rafael Nadal in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open. (Photo: AP)

Rafael Nadal would have been hoping for a great start in 2016 but it was not to be. Fernanado Verdasco was too good for the Spaniard, who knocked him out of the Australian Open in the first round.

Nadal was leading two sets to one at one point, but Verdasco fought back and took the game away.

2. Fognini’s Turn Around

Nadal lost after being two sets to one up in the third round of the 2015 US Open. (Photo: Reuters)
Nadal lost after being two sets to one up in the third round of the 2015 US Open. (Photo: Reuters)

The 29-year-old was looking at his absolute best in the third round of the 2015 US Open. He was sitting pretty after winning two sets against Fabio Fognini.

Usually it is Nadal who is the one who fights back from two sets down but this time it was Fognini who didn’t give up and took the match 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

3. The Power of Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown was too powerful for Nadal. (Photo: Reuters)
Dustin Brown was too powerful for Nadal. (Photo: Reuters)

Nadal may be the master of clay but he is not bad on grass either. But in the second round game of Wimbledon last year, he was undone by Dustin Brown.

The 29-year-old could not take the challenge of the big and strong Dustin Brown who was literally hitting every ball with raw power.

Eventually, he lost 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

4. The French Open Loss

Djokovic finally got the better of Nadal in the French Open. (Photo: Reuters)
Djokovic finally got the better of Nadal in the French Open. (Photo: Reuters)

Even though Nadal was fighting through injuries for several years, there was one grand slam which nobody could take away from him. But in 2015, even in that one grand slam, he made way for somebody else.

Novak Djokovic, who is playing the tennis of his life beat Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 in the quarter-final.

5. Berdych Routs Nadal

Nadal looked below par against Tomas Berdych. (Photo: Reuters)
Nadal looked below par against Tomas Berdych. (Photo: Reuters)

Nadal was looking to make the record of being the only player since Rod Laver to win each of the grand slams twice in the open era.

But Tomas Berdych was too good for the Spaniard in the Australian Open last year.

Berdych gave nothing away in the game and thrashed Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (5) in the quarter-final.

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