Yesterday was an interesting day in the BNP Paribas Open. Both the reigning champions i.e. Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal were knocked out of the tournament by the lower ranked players which left the fans hugely shocked.
While Sharapova suffered defeat against a qualifier, Nadal got beaten by a slightly more known Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Nadal had looked off colour in his previous match as well, but, he had pulled it off because of his grit.
He couldn’t quite do that against Dolgopolov though. Barring the second set in which he played some good shots; his performance was pretty mediocre as compared to that of the Ukrainian player. The Spaniard admitted that in the press conference after the match.
Talking to the reporters, Nadal said, “I performed poorly, that’s the bottom line and it obviously feels bad, but, days like these come every now and again and as a professional player, you just need to take it in your stride and move on.”
“I trained hard and tried to get myself in perfect shape for this tournament, but, somehow, I just couldn’t find my rhythm. I had been pushed to the limits in the first match. The same happened again today and in such situations, it can go either way. Unfortunately, it went against me.”
As far as Sharapova is concerned, her story was also similar to Nadal. She was rusty at the start and then pulled things back to push the match into the third set where she eventually lost it.
This defeat would prove to be costly for Sharapova in terms of her rankings. She would surely drift outside top 5, probably at 7 or 8. She would not have expected that while starting her campaign in this competition
This was Sharapova’s first appearance in the professional circuit in the last 5 weeks or so.