Rafael Nadal denied comeback title after shock defeat to world No 73 in Chile final
Rafael Nadal lost after being a set up against Horacio Zeballos
Monday 11 February 2013
Rafael Nadal lost in the final of his first tournament for seven months against world No 73 Horacio Zeballos.
Nadal, in his first tournament since last year's Wimbledon, had got to the final in Viña Del Mar without dropping a set, but Zeballos, the world No 73 proved to be a tougher opponent, as he lost 7-6, 6-7, 4-6. The first and second sets both went with serve, with some solid returns from Argentinian Zeballos proving to be key.
The first-set tie-break was straightforward for Nadal, but at 3-3 in the second set tie-break, on Zeballos's serve, play had to be halted because of a motorised paraglider flying overhead for a look. It seemed to affect Nadal more, as he conceded a mini break on his next serve, then the set.
Nadal began the third set by breaking to love, but was broken himself immediately afterwards. The rest of the set went with serve, with Nadal under massive pressure at 4-5 as he tried to stay in the match,
Zeballos played two drop shots then a superb backhand to set up three match points and made no mistake converting at the first opportunity, falling to his knees as the enormity of his win took over.
Great Britain advanced to the Fed Cup World Group Two play-offs thanks to impressive singles victories for Laura Robson and Heather Watson in their match against Bulgaria in Israel.
Robson said: "We are confident, we have strength in depth."
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