With less than 10 days left to prepare for the US Open, Rafael Nadal, the world No 1, and Andy Murray, the No 4, were far short of top form as they both lost in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters.
Nadal and Murray not in top form
With less than 10 days left to prepare for the US Open, Rafael Nadal, the world No 1, and Andy Murray, the No 4, were far short of top form on Friday, as they both lost in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters. Spraying balls all over the court, an erratic Nadal was beaten 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 by the unseeded Marcos Baghdatis. Nadal committed 30 unforced errors in the first two sets and double-faulted on break point in the ninth game of the third set.
Nadal blamed most of his problems on his backhand. "My game can improve, that's for sure," he said. "I have to keep working to improve my confidence with the backhand. My feeling with the forehand is good, but I still had too many unforced errors. For a lot of reasons, I played badly at important moments." Murray, playing his eighth afternoon match in 10 days, lost 6-7 (6-7), 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) to the unseeded Mardy Fish in a match that lasted 2 hours, 56 minutes - the tournament's longest - on a court where the temperature reached the high 30°C (100°F).
"In the third set, I wasn't really using my legs at all on my serve," said Murray, who needed cooling treatment, including rub downs on both legs, during many changeovers. "It was all arm. Every time there was a long point, I felt tired for two or three points afterward. When you get to the end of the match, you just try to finish as best you can." * Associated Press