Rafa Nadal leaves tennis world baffled in worrying drama: 'Troubled'

Rafa Nadal (pictured) was knocked out in his first match back at the Paris Masters to Tommy Paul. (Getty Images)
Rafa Nadal (pictured) was knocked out in his first match back at the Paris Masters to Tommy Paul. (Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal has slumped to a tough loss at the Paris Masters after falling to Tommy Paul in his first ATP match since the US Open.

In his first match back in nearly two months, and the first since the birth of his child, Nadal found himself in a tight battle during the second round in Bercy.

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The Spaniard showed why he has won two grand slams in 2022 having raced away with the first set 6-3. However, match fitness may have played a part after Nadal started to look sluggish with his movement and Paul took the game to a third set.

And Nadal looked lacklustre in the third set as he missed some crucial forehands to remain in the battle.

And Paul was brilliant as he ran away with the match 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 to record the biggest win of his career.

"Physically, Nadal, struggling as the match went on," the commentator said after the final point. Another commentator added: "Worrying looked to be struggling... the way he was feeling on the court, maybe his physical condition...bit of a head scratcher."

The tennis world was quick to react to the tough ending for Nadal as the Spaniard now turns his attention to the ATP Finals.

Despite his loss, Nadal did look on point for the first half of the match.

This included a stunning forehand pass at the back of the court.

Nadal was forced to the net with a drop shot, before Paul sent him back.

But instead of going for a tweener, Nadal spun around and hit a ripping forehand for the winner.

Unfortunately, Nadal wasn't able to maintain his energy for the second half of the match.

Nadal will now turn his attention to the end-of-year ATP Finals event in Turin.

Tommy Paul (pictured left) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal (pictured right).
Tommy Paul (pictured left) defeated Rafael Nadal (pictured right) at the Paris Masters. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal admits to tough Paris Masters return

Before the tournament, Nadal was questioned on his return only weeks after the birth of his first child with wife Xisca.

And the 22-time grand slam champion did admit it had changed his approach before the tournament.

“It’s a different approach compared to usual,” Nadal said.

“Always has been tough to leave home. It's quite interesting how even after two or three weeks, to leave your son at home and not be able to see him, it's interesting how even after only three weeks knowing him, you start missing him.

“All the changes are difficult in this life, and you need to adapt to it. It's at the same time true that we are lucky today that, with technology, we can do video calls any time you want, so that always helps.”

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