Kei Nishikori‘s injury woes continued when he had to retire midway through the third set of the Madrid Masters final against the defending champion Rafael Nadal. He was 6-2 4-6 0-3 down in the third set when he made the decision due to the back issues that plagued him all week were too much to carry on.
It looked like Nishikori would make it two Masters events in a row where a player outside of the big four was victorious after Nishikori took advantage of Nadal’s off day to find himself 6-2 4-2 up. The first set was especially poor from Nadal who hit just 2 winners to 11 unforced errors.
Nishikori was treated for his back issues, midway through the second set and from then on it was downhill for the newest entrant to the ATP World Tour top 10 rankings. Despite his best efforts, he would lose seven straight games and win just one point in the third set.
The retirement means that Nadal matches the record of Boris Becker in four titles in the Spanish capital while it is Nadal’s third title of the year after Rio and Doha. Nishikori’s participation in next weeks Rome Masters will be in major doubt, especially with the French Open only 2 weeks away.