Following an impressive week in Stuttgart that resulted in his first grass court title in five years, Rafael Nadal was unable to maintain that momentum in the United Kingdom, as he crashed out of Aegon Championships in his opening round match.
Up against Alexnadr Dolgopolov in their round 1 contest, Nadal was forced to contest three sets and even had a break snatched back from him in the decider. In the end, Dolgopolov won the match 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4.
Nadal was forced to withstand 16 aces from the Ukrainian, 78% of his Dolgopolov’s first service points and seven break point opportunities, three of which made it through and were pivotal to his eventual demise.
“I was fighting in every point,” Nadal said. “I was with the right concentration, with the right motivation, not giving up when I had tough moments.
“I’m not happy I lost a match that I had a chance to win, but that’s it. That’s tennis on grass.”
After losing just his second match ever at the French Open last week, Rafael Nadal fought valiantly all week in Stuttgart to arrive in a final against Viktor Troicki. While he needed three sets at various points throughout the week, he managed to claim the title following a straight sets victory. It was his first title on grass since the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.
However, the Spaniard remains confident that his loss at Queen’s Club will not impact his Wimbledon run at the end of the month.