Rafael Nadal took a break following an early US Open loss, taking care of his abdominal injury and staying away from the court for two months. Nadal returned to action at the Paris Masters, seeking valuable points in the year-end no.
1 battle. Rafa faced Tommy Paul in the second round and suffered a 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 loss in two hours and 32 minutes. It was Nadal’s worst performance at the season’s last Masters 1000 event, not feeling well and fading from the court in the decider.
Rafa admitted he struggled with a stomach issue during the match, losing energy and vomiting after the duel! Despite a solid start, the Spaniard failed to seal the deal in straight sets and had nothing left in the tank in the decider.
He looked exhausted and slow, losing pace on his serve and movement and allowing the rival to break him three times.
Rafael Nadal was sick during his Paris Masters match.
Paul served at 57% but experienced three breaks to find himself in a challenging position.
The American turned 42% of the return points into five breaks that carried him over the finish line and into the last 16. Tommy had 29 winners and 27 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and attacking the net. He took advantage of Rafa’s 35 unforced errors and forced a decider, where it was all about him.
Paul played great at the net and built the lead in the shortest range up to four strokes, thanks to his aggressive approach. Settling into a nice rhythm after pulling the break back, Tommy claimed the second set’s tie break 7-4 after forcing Rafa’s error.
Nadal netted a routine forehand to lose serve at the start of the final set and missed his opportunity in the fourth game. The Spaniard sprayed a volley error in game five to lose serve, playing with no energy or momentum. Paul delivered his third break at 5-1 and emerged at the top with a volley winner for a career-best victory.
“I did not run for a long time ahead of Paris, and I had a slight stomach issue. I felt sick in the third set and vomited after the match. I did not say anything when we finished because it did not make sense. I was sick for a day, and then I could train normally,” Rafael Nadal said.