Novak Djokovic downed by world no. 140 Martin Klizan in Barcelona, Rafa Nadal progresses
Martin Klizan v Novak Djokovic 6-2 1-6 6-3

Novak Djokovic downed by world no. 140 Martin Klizan in Barcelona, Rafa Nadal progresses

26/04/2018

Novak Djokovic’s preparations for the French Open took a worrying turn when he was beaten by Martin Klizan in the second round of the Barcelona Open, 6-2 1-6 6-3.

The world number 140 shocked Djokovic at the ATP 500 event, which the Serb accepted a wild card for.

The Serb's form since the Australian Open has been horrendous, with first-round exits at both Indian Wells and the Miami Open in March.

There was an improvement with the arrival of the clay-court season, despite the recent split with coach Andre Agassi, as Djokovic made it to the third round in Monte Carlo, only to lose to Dominic Thiem.

But the result to Klizan sets his preparations back for Roland Garros, which starts on May 21.

"I feel I haven’t lived up to your expectations, not even my own," Djokovic told a news conference.

"It’s hard to deal with these types of games and defeats, I wasn’t playing at my best, only during the second set. I will try to continue and see where it takes me."

World number one Nadal, who also had a bye to the second round, packed out the main court at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona which is named after him.

Perhaps still feeling the effects of his triumph in Monte Carlo on Sunday, Nadal made a slow start against Carballes-Baena and was broken in the opening game to fall 2-0 behind.

The Mallorcan responded by breaking twice to take a 4-2 lead and went on to claim the first set. Nadal broke in the opening game of the second set but lost his serve in the sixth.

He went in front again and had match point at 5-3 but could not take advantage, although he comfortably closed the match out with his next service game.

"It was a difficult game and I committed a couple of errors at the start. The first game here after Monte Carlo is always hard but I soon found my rhythm," Nadal told reporters.

The victory saw the Spaniard surpass Romanian Ilie Nastase's record of winning 36 consecutive sets on clay in 1973.

Kei Nishikori retired during his opening match against Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez after experiencing pain in his right wrist.

The 28-year-old, who lost to Rafa Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday, withdrew after losing the first set 6-3.

"My expectations grew in Monte Carlo, despite losing to Nadal," Nishikori told reporters. "However, I started feeling discomfort again during the first set and I did not want to take any risks."

The Japanese missed last year's U.S. Open and the Australian Open at the start of 2018 after injuring the same wrist in August.

Second seed Grigor Dimitrov eased past Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2 6-1 to book a place in the last-16.

Related news

Roger Federer stays alive with comfortable win over Dominic Thiem

Roger Federer stays alive with comfortable win over Dominic Thiem

Roger Federer is still live at the ATP World Tour Finals thanks to a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 victory over an out-of-sorts Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.

Kevin Anderson crushes Kei Nishikori in ATP Finals

Kevin Anderson crushes Kei Nishikori in ATP Finals

South Africa's Kevin Anderson enjoyed a shockingly comfortable win over Kei Nishikori at the ATP Finals, beating Kei Nishikori 6-0, 6-1.

Novak Djokovic opens ATP World Tour Finals campaign by trouncing Isner

Novak Djokovic opens ATP World Tour Finals campaign by trouncing Isner

Five-time ATP Finals champion Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record-equalling title by handing out a comprehensive beating to John Isner, 6-4, 6-3.

Tie-breaks give Alexander Zverev opening win over Marin Cilic at ATP World Tour Finals

Tie-breaks give Alexander Zverev opening win over Marin Cilic at ATP World Tour Finals

Alexander Zverev got off to a winning start in the ATP World Tour Finals with a 7-6(5) 7-6 (1) victory over Marin Cilic at the O2 in London.

Roger Federer stunned by Kei Nishikori in straight sets

Roger Federer stunned by Kei Nishikori in straight sets

Roger Federer's hopes of winning a record-extending seventh ATP Finals title suffered a blow as Kei Nishikori stunned the Swiss great 7-6(4) 6-3 in their round-robin opener on Sunday.

Kevin Anderson downs Dominic Thiem after marathon tie-break

Kevin Anderson downs Dominic Thiem after marathon tie-break

Kevin Anderson beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the opening match of the ATP Finals in London, securing the win following a marathon tie-break.

Injured Nadal withdraws from World Tour Finals in London

Injured Nadal withdraws from World Tour Finals in London

The 32-year-old took to social media to announce that ongoing abdominal and ankle injuries have brought his season to an end.

Karen Khachanov stuns Novak Djokovic to win Paris Masters

Karen Khachanov stuns Novak Djokovic to win Paris Masters

Karen Khachanov produced the performance of his career so far as he shocked Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-4 to triumph at the Paris Masters.

Djokovic beats Federer to reach Paris final, extends winning run to 22 matches

Djokovic beats Federer to reach Paris final, extends winning run to 22 matches

Novak Djokovic ruined Roger Federer's ambitions of a 100th career title as he outlasted his great adversary 7-6(6) 5-7 7-6(3) in an epic Paris Masters semi-final that stretched his remarkable unbeaten run to 22 matches on Saturday.

RELATED NEWS

Roger Federer stays alive with comfortable win over Dominic Thiem
Roger Federer v Dominic Thiem 6-2 6-3

Roger Federer stays alive with comfortable win over Dominic Thiem

Roger Federer is still live at the ATP World Tour Finals thanks to a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 victory over an out-of-sorts Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.

Kevin Anderson crushes Kei Nishikori in ATP Finals
Kevin Anderson v Kei Nishikori 6-0 6-1

Kevin Anderson crushes Kei Nishikori in ATP Finals

South Africa's Kevin Anderson enjoyed a shockingly comfortable win over Kei Nishikori at the ATP Finals, beating Kei Nishikori 6-0, 6-1.

Novak Djokovic opens ATP World Tour Finals campaign by trouncing Isner
Novak Djokovic v John Isner 6-4, 6-3

Novak Djokovic opens ATP World Tour Finals campaign by trouncing Isner

Five-time ATP Finals champion Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record-equalling title by handing out a comprehensive beating to John Isner, 6-4, 6-3.

Tie-breaks give Alexander Zverev opening win over Marin Cilic at ATP World Tour Finals
Alexander Zverev v Marin Cilic 7-6(5) 7-6 (1)

Tie-breaks give Alexander Zverev opening win over Marin Cilic at ATP World Tour Finals

Alexander Zverev got off to a winning start in the ATP World Tour Finals with a 7-6(5) 7-6 (1) victory over Marin Cilic at the O2 in London.

Roger Federer stunned by Kei Nishikori in straight sets
Kei Nishikori v Roger Federer 7-6(4) 6-3

Roger Federer stunned by Kei Nishikori in straight sets

Roger Federer's hopes of winning a record-extending seventh ATP Finals title suffered a blow as Kei Nishikori stunned the Swiss great 7-6(4) 6-3 in their round-robin opener on Sunday.

Kevin Anderson downs Dominic Thiem after marathon tie-break
Kevin Anderson v Dominic Thiem

Kevin Anderson downs Dominic Thiem after marathon tie-break

Kevin Anderson beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the opening match of the ATP Finals in London, securing the win following a marathon tie-break.

Injured Nadal withdraws from World Tour Finals in London
ATP World Tour Finals

Injured Nadal withdraws from World Tour Finals in London

The 32-year-old took to social media to announce that ongoing abdominal and ankle injuries have brought his season to an end.

Karen Khachanov stuns Novak Djokovic to win Paris Masters
Karen Khachanov v Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-4

Karen Khachanov stuns Novak Djokovic to win Paris Masters

Karen Khachanov produced the performance of his career so far as he shocked Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-4 to triumph at the Paris Masters.

Djokovic beats Federer to reach Paris final, extends winning run to 22 matches
Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer 7-6(6) 5-7 7-6(3)

Djokovic beats Federer to reach Paris final, extends winning run to 22 matches

Novak Djokovic ruined Roger Federer's ambitions of a 100th career title as he outlasted his great adversary 7-6(6) 5-7 7-6(3) in an epic Paris Masters semi-final that stretched his remarkable unbeaten run to 22 matches on Saturday.