Rafael Nadal knocked out in the First Round at the Auistralian Open

He lost to Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco in five sets

BY Daniel Kelly 08:28 Tuesday 19 January 2016, 8:28 19 Jan 2016

Picture by: Aaron Favila / AP/Press Association Images

Fifth seed Rafael Nadal has been knocked out of the Australian Open in the First Round.

Nadal lost in five sets to Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco. He lost the final set 6-2 in a match that lasted over four and a half hours.

It is the first time in Nadal's career that he has been knocked out in the First Round at the Australian Open. His previous worst performance was a Third Round loss on his debut in 2004.

Before today's loss, the two Spaniards had played each other 17 times. Nadal was the winner on 15 occasions having won the first 14 matches between the pair.

The loss means that Nadal has now failed to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam in seven attempts. He was last victorious in one of tennis' big four events at the 2014 French Open.

There was also a shock overnight in the Women's draw. Eighth seed Venus Williams lost in straight sets to British player Johanna Konta in the First Round. That match finished 6-4, 6-2.


Sunday Long Reads: What to watch after Making a Murderer, the fuss over 70mm film and Zidane as a manager

10:30 Sunday 10 January 2016 0 Minute Read

Benteke's taste for winners continued tonight

21:40 Wednesday 30 December 2015 0 Minute Read

WATCH: Nate Diaz calls out Conor McGregor in a foul-mouthed tirade

12:03 Sunday 20 December 2015 0 Minute Read

Anthony Martial dedicates European Golden Boy award to Manchester United fans

11:56 Saturday 19 December 2015 0 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week