Nadal crashes out of Queen`s Club tournament

London: Rafael Nadal suffered his first defeat in 25 matches as he was beaten by Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-finals at Queen`s Club on Friday, while defending champion Andy Murray also crashed out.

Not since Andy Roddick beat Nadal in the Miami semi-finals in March had the Spaniard walked off court a loser, but his compatriot and close friend Lopez brought that magnificent run to an end in emphatic fashion.

Nadal had needed treatment for a strain in his right side of his lower torso during his victory over Denis Istomin on Thursday and the French Open champion never seemed completely comfortable against Lopez.

The world number one`s 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 defeat and Murray`s exit to Mardy Fish earlier in the day meant none of the top six seeds made it to the semi-finals of the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event.

Four-time Queen`s champion Roddick, second seed Novak Djokovic, fifth seed Marin Cilic and Gael Monfils, the sixth seed, had all bowed out already and Nadal fared no better.

Nadal lacked rhythm right from the start as Lopez, the world number 31, dictated the tempo with a sturdy baseline game.

The first set went to a tie-break and Lopez`s nerve held impressively as he earned the crucial mini-break that settled the set in his favour.

That kind of blow is usually the signal for Nadal to double his intensity and secure a gritty victory. But he never got going as Lopez made an early break in the second set.

Nadal did break back but another poor service game presented Lopez with the chance to convert his second match point.

Bureau Report

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