Rafael Nadal bows out, Federer advances in Gerry Weber Open
Halle (Germany): Rafael Nadal lost in the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open on Friday, beaten by Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4 in the Spaniard`s first tournament since winning a record seventh French Open.
Roger Federer, a five-time winner of this grass-court Wimbledon tuneup, was taken to three sets but defeated Canada`s Milos Raonic 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Kohlschreiber, who is seeded eighth, won this tournament last year. The 34th-ranked German ended Nadal`s 13-match winning streak.
"It`s not the time to look for excuses," said Nadal, who won in Paris four days ago. "He played much better than me."
Federer advanced despite 25 aces by Raonic. The Canadian had 13 aces in a first set he won in a tiebreaker. Federer broke serve early in the second and forced a third set.
Federer beat Raonic at Indian Wells in March and Madrid last month, going on to win both titles. The 16-time Grand Slam champion is now favored to win a record sixth title at Halle following Nadal`s exit.
"Today, from the beginning was tough for me," Nadal said.
Kohlschreiber had eight aces, ending the first game with his first. He broke Nadal in the next — after the Spaniard saved two break points — and intensified the pressure by pulling ahead 3-0.
The German missed a chance to break the 11-time Grand Slam champion again in the first game of the second, and defended three break points to hold his serve three games later. Kohlschreiber broke again in the seventh game and quickly moved ahead 5-3.
"It was a world-class day for me," Kohlschreiber said. "In principle I did nothing wrong."
It was his first win over Nadal in nine attempts, although Friday`s match was their first meeting on grass.
"It`s more a tennis problem than a mental problem," Nadal said. "The transition is difficult. It depends how much time you have. Playing on grass can sometimes be a bit of a lottery."
Kohlschreiber next meets the winner of Friday`s match between third-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and wild card Tommy Haas of Germany.
Mikhail Youzhny of Russia beat Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.