Nadal drops match on clay

May 7, 2008 at 2:46 PM
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ROME, May 7 (UPI) -- World No. 2 Rafael Nadal lost Wednesday for just the second time in 105 claycourt matches, falling in straight sets at the $3.5 million Italian Masters.

Nadal, who has won three consecutive French Open titles, was going for his fourth straight title in Rome and had lost just one match on clay since 2005. But Juan Carlos Ferrero stunned Nadal 7-5, 6-1, breaking Nadal's serve three times and not giving up a break in the second-round match.

Fifth-seeded David Ferrer and No. 7-seeded David Nalbandian were also ousted Wednesday. Ferrer was beaten by Radek Stepanek 4-6, 6-2, 6-1; Nicolas Almagro whipped Nalbandian 6-4, 7-5.

The No. 3 and 4 seeds were straight-set winners in the second round. No. 3 Novak Djokovic beat Steve Darcis 6-4, 6-0 and No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko had little trouble with Mario Ancic 6-2, 6-2.

Eighth-seeded James Blake needed a third set but advanced over Andreas Seppi 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-1.

Also Wednesday, Fernando Gonzalez, seeded 12th, won 6-3, 6-2 over Evgeny Korolev, but No. 13-seeded Juan Monaco was a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 loser to Igor Andreev. Other winners Wednesday included Luis Horna, Simone Bolelli and Fernando Verdasco.

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