Rafael Nadal has been knocked out of the Western and Southern Open after going down to Borna Coric in three gruelling sets.
The 36-year-old Spaniard was pushed to the limit and beyond in what was his first match since an abdominal tear forced him out of Wimbledon.
Croatia’s Coric, who also withdrew from Wimbledon due to injury, started strong against the world number three, absorbing Nadal’s best shots and returning them in kind.
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Both men saved two set points before the 25-year-old claimed first blood in a lengthy tiebreak.
Nadal then rallied in the second, making the most of his lone break point opportunity to force a deciding third set.
However he was ultimately unable to keep up with his younger opponent in the third, giving up an early break which Coric rode to a 7-6 (9) 4-6 6-3 victory in Cincinnati.