Novak Djokovic stunned, Kei Nishikori retires in Barcelona Open tennis
Novak Djokovic was beaten by Martin Klizan in his first match at the Barcelona Open tennis tournament while Kei Nishikori was forced to retire due to fatigue.tennis Updated: Apr 25, 2018 19:15 IST
Novak Djokovic suffered a surprise defeat in his latest comeback from injury after the Serb was beaten by Martin Klizan in his first match at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday.
Djokovic had been due to meet Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals in Spain but a disjointed display gave Klizan, ranked 140th in the world, a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 victory.
While Klizan goes through to meet Spanish clay-court specialist Feliciano Lopez in the last 16, Djokovic will now have to reset, with the French Open next month fast approaching.
David Goffin produced a stunning fightback to reach the Barcelona Open third round on Tuesday, rallying from a set and two breaks down to beat Marcel Granollers 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.
The Belgian’s campaign appeared over at 4-6 1-5 down but his remarkable recovery, which included a saved match point, earned him progression.
Goffin will face Leonardo Mayer or Karen Khachanov in the next round, while Roberto Carballes Baena’s reward for seeing off Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-2 6-4 in the first round is a meeting with 10-time champion Rafael Nadal.
Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic hit 29 aces as he beat Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-7(5) 7-6(8) 6-4 in the first round of the Barcelona Open on Monday.
The Croatian, both the oldest and tallest player at the clay court tournament at 39 years old and 211 centimetres, used his cannonball serve to beat the former champion at the club he has trained at since he was 14.
Karlovic will face another Spaniard in eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday in the round of 32.
Nishikori retires due to fatigue
Nishikori retired during his opening match against Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday.
Nishikori, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday, pulled out after conceding the first set to Garcia-Lopez 6-3.
Fatigue, and pain in his troublesome right wrist, appeared to prompt the withdrawal from Japan´s world number 22, who will now look to regain fitness ahead of the French Open next month.
“My expectations grew in Monte Carlo, despite losing to Nadal,” Nishikori told reporters after the match.
“However, I started feeling discomfort again during the first set and I did not want to take any risks.”
It completes a double setback for Asian players as Hyeon Chung, the South Korean who was a surprise semi-finalist at this year’s Australian Open, withdrew before play in Barcelona even began.