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

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

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic beat Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters for the fourth time.

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final

Borna Coric secured the biggest win of his career with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roger Federer to book a Shanghai Masters final with Novak Djokovic.

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten run to 17 matches on Saturday after beating Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1 in the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis

Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer returned to form to beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(4) and reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday.

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund once again came up short against Alexander Zverev after losing in straight sets to the world number five in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai

Twice Shanghai Masters champion Roger Federer was far from his best against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut but did enough to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win on Thursday.

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund defeated Nicolas Jarry 7-6(5), 6-3 on Thursday to set up a clash with Alex Zverev in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai

Roger Federer was forced to a third set before completing a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over Daniil Medvedev in the last 32 of the Shanghai Masters.

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet

Juan Martin del Potro displayed his battling qualities to overcome Richard Gasquet and reach the quarter-finals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

RELATED NEWS

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic v Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic beat Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters for the fourth time.

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final
Borna Coric v Roger Federer 6-4 6-4

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final

Borna Coric secured the biggest win of his career with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roger Federer to book a Shanghai Masters final with Novak Djokovic.

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis
Novak Djokovic v Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten run to 17 matches on Saturday after beating Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1 in the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis
Roger Federer v Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(4)

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis

Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer returned to form to beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(4) and reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday.

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai
Alex Zverev v Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-4

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund once again came up short against Alexander Zverev after losing in straight sets to the world number five in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai
Roger Federer v Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 2-6 6-4

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai

Twice Shanghai Masters champion Roger Federer was far from his best against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut but did enough to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win on Thursday.

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai
Kyle Edmund v Nicolas Jarry 7-6(5), 6-3

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund defeated Nicolas Jarry 7-6(5), 6-3 on Thursday to set up a clash with Alex Zverev in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai
Roger Federer v Daniil Medvedev 6-4 4-6 6-4

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai

Roger Federer was forced to a third set before completing a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over Daniil Medvedev in the last 32 of the Shanghai Masters.

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet
Juan Martin del Potro v Richard Gasquet 7-5 7-6 (9/7)

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet

Juan Martin del Potro displayed his battling qualities to overcome Richard Gasquet and reach the quarter-finals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters.