Dolgopolov Ousts Defending Champion Nadal

March 11, 2014

ATP Tennis News

Rafa Nadal tried to remain upbeat after defeat with Spanish professional basketball player, Pau Gasol.

Rafa Nadal tried to remain upbeat after defeat with Spanish professional basketball player, Pau Gasol.

INDIAN WELLS – California:  Alexandr Dolgopolov recorded the biggest upset of the tournament this year so far when he defeated defending champion and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open.

It was Dolgopolov’s first victory over Nadal, having never won a single set against the Spaniard in five previous head to head meetings. The Ukrainian is enjoying a current upward spiral after he scored his second win over a Top 5 opponent in less than a month after booting out David Ferrer, another Spaniard, in the Rio de Janeiro semi-finals.

“I feel great, as after every win, of course,” said Dolgopolov. “I beat the defending champion and the No. 1 in the world.”

It wasn’t an easy victory for the Kiev native who was forced to recover very early on after being broken in the opening game of the match, eventually capturing the first set on his second set point when Nadal struck a forehand long.

Nadal began to find his range striking the ball with more length to take control of the second set, breaking in the sixth game, levelling the match and forcing a deciding set.

Dolgopolov seemed to have the match in the bag after consolidating  a break for a 5-2 advantage in the third set, but was broken at love while serving for the match a game later. Eyebrows were raised and it was only a matter of time to see whether the former World No. 13 could hold his nerve after Nadal reeled off 10 straight points, forcing a tie-break.

The Dolgo had to fight from a mini-break deficit  to claim victory on his first match point — or so he thought. A dramatic hawkeye overrule briefly left the door open for Nadal, but the No. 28 seed was not be denied his first victory over the French Open champion, eventually winning 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5).

Nadal tried to remain positive after the defeat:

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About Lisa-Marie Burrows

Lisa-Marie Burrows has a MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism and is a freelance sports journalist. She has covered many national and international tennis tournaments and has worked in Paris for Eurosport News channel. She is a member of the International Press Association and a journalist for its online magazine, IMPress. She has contributed articles for various leading websites including,,, and Lisa-Marie operates her tennis website where you can read her reports. She can be reached at or on Twitter @TennisNewsViews.

View all posts by Lisa-Marie Burrows


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