Djokovic loses to 140th-ranked Klizan in Barcelona Open
Apr 27, 2018, 01:02
World number one Nadal, chasing an 11th title at the tournament, a week after claiming the Monte Carlo Masters for an 11th time, will next face Slovakia's Martin Klizan.
Novak Djokovic is struggling to rediscover the form that made him world No 1.
At the Hungarian Open, third seed Richard Gasquet was shocked 6-4 7-6 (7-4) by world number 159 Lorenzo Sonego, while Damir Dzumhur (2) also suffered an early exit in a 6-3 6-1 loss to Marco Cecchinato.
The first break of serve came in game four after a solid drop shot from Nadal and he grabbed another one at 4-1 with a backhand cross court victor.
"He [Garcia-Lopez] is aggressive, he has good punches and good service, he will not go out on the court without believing he can win, he has experience in important matches".
"I did not play well at all, but it was important to win and tomorrow there is another opportunity to improve the level", Nadal said.
"I had more options in the second set but a player like Nadal doesn't give you many chances", the 69th-ranked Garcia-Lopez said. He also lost in the second round in Miami and in Indian Wells, and failed to advance past the last 16 at the Australian Open.
Nadal needs to win his 11th Barcelona title this week to retain his No. 1 ranking.
The defending champion came through 6-1 6-3 to extend his Open era record to 40 consecutive sets won on clay. He has won 32 of his last 33 matches on the surface, including 15 straight.
The 31-year-old is to face another Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia Lopez, who progressed after Kei Nishikori retired.
BC-TEN-Barcelona Open, 1st Ld-Writethru, 247 Nadal cruises into Barcelona Open quarterfinalsAP Photo MF123, MF120, MF114, MF118, MF112, MF112, MF109, MF107Eds: Updates with more detail, quotes.
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