Monday 11 December 2017

Nishikori injury hands title to Nadal

Tennis

Rafael Nadal celebrates winning a point to Kei Nishikori during their men's singles final match at the Madrid Open
Rafael Nadal celebrates winning a point to Kei Nishikori during their men's singles final match at the Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal won his first European clay title of the season in unfortunate circumstances at the Mutua Madrid Open when Kei Nishikori retired through injury.

Having trailed by a set and a break, Nadal won seven straight games to lead 2-6 6-4 3-0 when Nishikori called it a day.

The Japanese player, who has just broken into the top 10 for the first time, struggled with a back spasm in an epic win over David Ferrer on Saturday and the problem returned at just the wrong moment in his first Masters series final.

Earlier, Maria Sharapova recovered from an awful start to defeat Simona Halep and win the women's title.

It took Sharapova five games to get on the board and she lost the first set in less than half an hour, but the eighth seed turned things around early in the second set and went on to win 1-6 6-2 6-3.

The Russian has developed a formidable record on clay, a surface she used to hate, and seven of her most recent nine titles have now come on the dirt.

Indo Sport

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