TENNIS

Rafael Nadal crashes out of Cincinnati Open after first round

Upsets continue to loom in Ohio with World number 3 Rafael Nadal, suffering defeat at the hands of World number 152 Borna Coric, at the Western and Southern Open tour.

Rafael Nadal suffered defeat in his first match at the Cincinnati Open

Rafael Nadal slumped to a defeat against Croatia's Borna Coric at the Cincinnati Open.

The 35-year-old Spanish great returned to the court for the first time since pulling out of the Wimbledon semi-finals due to injury.

Nadal lost 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 6-3 to the world number 152, having spent over five weeks recovering from the abdominal muscle injury.

However, the defeat on Wednesday is seemingly a blow to his preparations for the upcoming US Open which gets underway later this month.

Speaking after the defeat the four-time US Open champions was quoted to have said:

"In terms of New York, it's a Grand Slam, a different kind of tournament,"

"I was only able to play two sets before this match in the last 40 days.

"I know that to gain condition. I will have to be on the tour practising with the guys." as per BBC.

Croatia's Borna Coric, who also withdrew from Wimbledon due to injury, started strong against the world No 3 exerting dominance against the Spanish great who looked far from his best.

While conceding defeat, Nadal also spoke about his preparations for the US Open, insisting his desire to be ready for the next Grand Slam as soon as possible.

'With a week-and-a-half to New York, it's sad to not play here,'

'I need to get into Grand Slam mode.

'I need to practice. I need to return better. I need days. It's better to come back when you've spent a period of time outside and win your first match. I wasn't ready enough to win the match today.' Nadal said.

'The big thing is to stay healthy. It's a difficult injury to manage. I need to take it step by step.' he added.

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