All photos by Ray Toh
In a surprise defeat, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal failed to advance past the first round of the 2015 Qatar ExxonMobil Open yesterday.
The World No. 3, who won last year’s tournament, was defeated by Michael Berrer of Germany, who is ranked 127th and is playing the final tournament of his career.
Berrer will face Croatian Ivan Dodig in the second round.
According to ATP World Tour, this was Nadal’s first match after ending the 2014 season early to undergo appendix surgery in November.
Following the match, the Spaniard was quoted as saying:
“I had a bad game in the third and the fourth one in the second set. He broke me. After that everything changed.
He played well. I was playing with more nerves than usual after that as after long time I wanted to win. I knew that winning a couple of matches here will help me. So that made me play under a bit more tension.”
For his part, Berrer said:
“It is really unbelievable… But let’s be honest. It was the first match for Rafa after many months due to injury. We have to be realistic. But for me, great! One more year on the Tour, started good.”
Meanwhile, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic comfortably made it into the second round, despite withdrawing from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship final in Abu Dhabi last week due to the flu.
Play resumes today at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex this afternoon.
Have you been following the tournament? Thoughts?