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Not iron, but still great. Nadal lost first place to Federer

Nadal stopped at 50 sets

Nadal lost. These words in one sentence have not been encountered since January, with the Australian Open. Moreover, we are talking not only about matches, but also about sets. Since the April Davis Cup quarterfinals against the German team, Rafael has won 30 games in a row, and in general, the unbeaten streak lasts since last year's tournament in Rome and has 50 sets! The day before, Nadal broke the record for John McEnroe , who won 49 games in a row on one floor (carpet). Thanks to the victory over Diego Schwartzman (6: 3, 6: 4), the Spaniard set another achievement, but he stopped there. On Friday he was defeated by Dominic Tim - 7: 5, 6: 3.

What happened to Nadal? In short, he played a bad match: Rafael did not make so many mistakes for a very long time. But even Nadal's bad match on clay means a fight and mutual chances. Tim had one of the best meetings in his career, he played well in defense and wisely chose the moment for the counterattack. The favorite hit on Friday was the cross from the right under Nadal's left hand, that is, under his forehand. However, Dominik found the right time for such a blow and caught the opponent off guard.

Kiss from Mladenovic

However, Tim played not only on counterattacks. He attacked a lot himself in the game on the back line and surpassed the opponent in clean blows through 2.5 times - 29 against 12. We also note the brilliant play at the net: there was only one inaccuracy for the entire match. Rafael fought, but Tim was just better, and the Spaniard could only hope to get on Dominic's nerves, but the Austrian survived. Less than a month ago in Monte Carlo, Tim took only two games from Nadal, and won in Madrid. What has changed? My mood for the match. In Monaco I was just smeared on the court, and here I went to the court with a desire to win, - said the Austrian.

Tim's girlfriend Kristina Mladenovic was very worried about Tim throughout the match (she, together with T the name Babos will play in the doubles final against Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova ), and the Spaniard, in addition to his parents, was supported by the entire stadium. At his press conference, Nadal made it clear that this defeat should not be made a tragedy. Yes, there is no drama. I won 50 sets in a row on clay. Lost now. I'm not going to change anything much after this match. Today I felt badly the ball, I could not control its flight. Speaking of flying. How do you fly to Rome now after such a setback? The journalist asked. By plane, ”Nadal replied simply and quickly. The day before there was a similar moment: you won 50 sets in a row and set a world record. What does this mean to you? - For me it means that I have reached the quarterfinals. After the game, Tim hugged warmly and kissed his girlfriend.

Nadal almost always lost to Roland Garros

Rafael's fans have no sense to be upset. Their favorite isstill the king of the soil, who loses from time to time. In just two cases, Nadal managed to pass the clay season without defeats - in 2006 and 2010. In all the rest, he lost to Roland Garros, but at the same time won 10 titles in Paris. In any case, he will come up as the main and in fact the only favorite to the second Helmet, despite the defeat from Tim. By the way, it was Tim who inflicted the only defeat on the sand courts in Rafael last season, not in Madrid, but in Rome. This did not stop the Spaniard from winning all the sets in Paris, including defeating Tim himself in the semifinals of Roland Garros - 6: 3, 6: 4, 6: 0.

Nadal withdrew from his match against Marina Cilic in the Australian Open quarterfinals due to a thigh injury. He missed two months and the American hard series, and returned in the Davis Cup quarterfinals Spain - Germany. Nadal brought his team two points, which led her to the semifinals. And then Rafael began to dominate in individual tournaments and won in a row in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. In both cities, he won 11 titles and updated his personal best: before him, no one won the same tournament 10 times. Now there are two competitions he has won 11 times already.

Rafael Nadal winning streak on clay: 21 matches (7 at Roland Garros 2017, 2 at Davis Cup 2018, 5 at Monte Carlo, 5 in Barcelona, ​​2 in Madrid), 50 sets.
Tournaments won: 2017 - Roland Garros, 2018 - Monte Carlo, Barcelona.
Rivals: Per, Khase, Basilashvili, Bautista-Agut, Carreño-Busta, Tim-2, Wavrinka, Kolshreiber, A. Zverev, Bedene, Khachanov, Dimitrov, Nishikori, Carballes-Baena, Garcia-Lopez, Klizan, Goffen, Tsitsipas, Monfils, Schwartzman.

Federer returned to the top without playing

Despite all the achievements and records, this Monday the new first racket will be Roger Federer . Yes, the same Federer who did not play with Miami and who is not going to return to court until June. For the second year in a row, Roger decided to voluntarily skip the entire clay part of the season, that is, he does not need to defend any points. The opposite situation with Nadal, who won 24 matches out of 25 in 2017. By the way, Rafael criticized Federer a little for missing two months: It's hard for me to imagine what I would say: I will not play on grass or hard. It's not part of my plans, but never say never. Feliciano Lopez, future director of the Madrid tournament, also stated that Roger should respect the tour and perform all year round.

As for Nadal, he knew perfectly well that he had to repeat all his results in order to stay in the first place. In Monte Carlo and Barcelona, ​​he succeeded, but in his native Madrid he lost already at the quarterfinals (among all major clay tournaments, it was in Madrid that Raphael had the lowest percentage of victories). Thus, on May 14, Federer will return to the top, but if Nadal wins in Rome (where he reached the quarter finals in 2017), he will again become the strongest tennis player in the world. Interestingly, in March, just Roger had no right to misfire, while Raphael did not play and was recovering from an injury. The Swiss broke down on his last year's schedule and lost in the Indian Wells final and then in the first leg in Miami. Nadal also failed to protect all his glasses.

Number of weeks at the top of the ATP rankings.
1. Roger Federer - 309 (including the week of May 14-20).
2. Pete Sampras - 286.
3. Ivan Lendl - 270.
4. Jimmy Connors - 268.
5. Novak Djokovic - 223.
6. Rafael Nadal - 173.
7. John McEnroe - 170.
8. Bjorn Borg - 109.
9. Andre Agassi - 101.
10. Lleyton Hewitt is 80.

Federer is resting in Zambia and the UAE

Federer has learned about his return to the top in Dubai. Roger took part in the opening of a new boutique of a famous watch manufacturer. The Swiss is one of the ambassadors of this firm, along with Carolina Wozniacki, Dominik Tim , Grigor Dimitrov and others. A few days ago, Roger visited the opera in the same city with his wife Mirka and four children.

I like Dubai, it is very calm and safe here, always great weather, good restaurants and a beautiful beach. There is always something to do here, a lot of entertainment, - explained Roger why he decided to spend part of his vacation in Dubai. He flew to the UAE from Zambia, where he met with the President of the country, Edgar Lungu. Zambia has a tennis player charity established in 2011. Federer visited schools that were sponsored by a charitable foundation. The Swiss Foundation has invested $ 5.8 million in improving the quality of education for children in Zambia. Well, on Monday Roger will begin his 309th week at the top of the ATP rankings.

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