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Rafael Nadal’s preparation before the US Open did not go as planned.
Borna Coric, ranked 152nd in the ATP, defeated Nadal 7-6(9) 4-6, 6-3 at the Western and Southern Open, inflicting a shock defeat on the 22nd Grand Slam record holder. Nadal has not played since an abdominal tear forced him out of the Wimbledon semifinals in July.
Coric suffered a first-round loss to Marin Cilic at the ATP Masters 1000 Canada and a quarterfinal loss to Alex Molkan at the European Open in Hamburg.
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Nadal did not show any lasting effect on his injury. It reached 121 mph. He admitted that he needed to return a better serve before the final Grand Slam tournament of the year.
“I definitely didn’t play my best game,” he told reporters via ATPTour.com in his post-match press conference.[It is] Something that can happen. Historically, this competition has been difficult for me. So when I come back from a difficult time [it is] Something easy to accept and easy to congratulate Borna played better.
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He said he needs to practice more and avoid losses.
“You lose, you move on. I know the way. The most important thing for me is to stay healthy. To be honest, you’ve had a serious injury. The last month and a half has not been easy. Tears in the belly, you never know when. [you are] 100% on the thing, so it affects a little bit [being] Make sure you can try as much as possible with each service.
The US Open begins on August 29th and runs through September 11th.
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Nadal has won the tournament four times – most recently in 2019.