Cincinnati: Fifteen-time Grand Slam champion and incoming world number one Rafael Nadal suffered a major blow as he was knocked out of the 2017 Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after going down in straight sets against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals of the men’s singles event here on Saturday.
The 31-year-old failed to replicate his good performance in the ongoing U.S. Open warm-up event so far and slumped to a 2-6, 5-7 defeat at the hands of Kyrgios in a thrilling last-four clash that lasted one hour and 20 minutes.
During the encounter, Kyrgios broke Nadal’s serve in the opening set to take an early lead of 4-0 before Nadal put up a good fight and saved match points in the second set to get back to 5-5.
Kyrgios, however, rebounded strongly in the set and served out the match with his 10th ace to send Nadal out of the competition.
The Australian, who registered his 100th victory on the ATP Tour and made it through just his second Masters semi of his career, will now lock horns with David Ferrer of Spain in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, despite the defeat, Nadal is all set to dethrone British tennis star Andy Murray off the ranking after the former pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters with hip injury.