Sunday, January 6, 2008
After grueling semifinal victory, Nadal falls to Youzhny in final
CHENNAI, India -- Rafael Nadal, fatigued from a nearly
4-hour match the previous day, was routed by fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny 6-0, 6-1 Sunday in the final of the Chennai Open.
Rafael Nadal, above, had no answers for Mikhail Youzhny. The Spaniard lost Sunday's final in just 57 minutes.
The 19th-ranked Youzhny clinched the fourth title of his career
by shocking No. 2 Nadal, who managed to hold his service just once.
The 57-minute contest turned out to be a letdown for Nadal, who
needed 3 hours, 54 minutes to overcome fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya
in what was the longest three-set match on the ATP Tour in 15
"Maybe I was a bit tired after the long semifinal, but I lost
the final because Mikhail played very well," said Nadal, who
hasn't won a title since July.
The error-prone Nadal saw his hopes of starting the year with a
title vanish as the Russian hit winners from the baseline and
executed deft drops. Nadal's only hold came in the second game of
the second set.
"Rafa was not Rafa," Youzhny said. "I did not win today, it
was Rafa who lost. I did not expect it to be so easy. I was lucky
as he just couldn't move and couldn't play."
Nadal took a medical time-out during the second set, but said he
had no fitness problem.
"I had no injury, just wanted the trainer's help in overcoming
tiredness," he said. "I lost in the semifinal last year and have
now played the final. Next year, I'll win the title here."
Youzhny defeated defending champion Xavier Malisse in the
quarterfinals and unseeded teenager Marin Cilic in the semifinals.
Nadal leads their head-to-head series 6-4.