Nadal fails in the round of 16 in Rome

A physically ailing Rafael Nadal was eliminated in the round of 16 at the Tennis Masters in Rome.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, seeded number three, lost to Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 5-7, 2-6. In the third set, Nadal took a 1-0 lead again through a break, but then his strength visibly dwindled.

In particular, the last injured foot seemed to cause considerable problems for the Spaniard. His gait wasn’t smooth and he had a lot of trouble jumping off the serve. Whether Nadal will be fit again in time for the French Open (May 22 to June 5) seemed at least questionable on Thursday.

World number one Novak Djokovic, on the other hand, had no trouble. The Serb defeated 37-year-old Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-2 on his comeback tour after a 15-month injury break.

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