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Nadal Displays Emotions Following Defeat In Final Madrid Open Appearance

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Rafael Nadal, visibly moved, took a moment to address the crowd after his defeat in the fourth round of the Madrid Open.

Amidst chants of “Rafa, Rafa, Rafa,” the five-time Madrid champion bid farewell following his loss to the 31st-ranked Jiri Lehecka, likely marking his final appearance at the tournament in the Spanish capital.

Post-match, the event organizers honored Nadal’s five titles in Madrid with banners and showcased a highlight reel, prompting tears from his wife and sister in the stands.

Nadal’s loss to a player ranked outside the top 20 on clay, like Jiri Lehecka, hadn’t occurred since his defeat to Pablo Cuevas in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro. Seeking his 60th win in Madrid and the 100th ATP 1000 quarterfinal, Nadal faced an unexpected setback.

Carlos Alcaraz, a hopeful successor to Nadal’s legacy, overcame Jan-Lennard Struff in a grueling three-hour battle, aiming to regain form ahead of the French Open.

Despite concerns about his fitness, Nadal managed three consecutive victories without significant physical limitations after his return to competitive play in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaraz, the second seed, faced his own challenges, narrowly defeating Struff and advancing to meet Andrey Rublev in the tournament.

Jannick Sinner, the top seed, secured his spot in the Madrid quarterfinals for the first time, overcoming Karen Khachanov in a hard-fought match, continuing his consistent performance across ATP 1000 events this season.

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