BARCELONA (TIP): World number one Rafael Nadal suffered his first defeat in Barcelona since 2003 on April 25 when compatriot Nicolas Almagro ended his 41-match winning run in the Spanish city. Top seed Nadal, the eight-time champion, lost 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to Almagro in a quarterfinal lasting 13 minutes short of three hours. Nadal, who lost in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals to David Ferrer last week, had last been beaten in Barcelona when he was just 15 years old.
It was 28-year-old Almagro’s first win over Nadal in 11 meetings, a series which included a straight sets loss in the 2013 Barcelona final. He needed two match points to secure his shock triumph while surviving 47 unforced errors. The sixth seed had also been a break down in the deciding set. Nadal’s last defeat at the tournament was in the second round to compatriot Alex Corretja in 2003 before he skipped the 2004 event through injury. His loss of the second set to Almagro on Friday was the first he had dropped at the Real Club de Tenis since 2008.