Rafael Nadal lost to Marin Cilic in the China Open Semifinals today in Beijing. It is not the fact that he lost that was worrisome, being that he was returning from a two week injury break, but rather how he lost. Prior to this match Rafa posted on his official website:
"I'm feeling better now than during the American season. I don't know if I am playing at my best level but we'll see over the rest of the tournament."
However, it took only 15 minutes for Marin Cilic to take a 5-0 lead against him in the first set, ultimately winning in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. Rafa had absolutely no answer to Cilic's serve and power on both sides. With the rise of these "Big Boys," Cilic and del Potro, Nadal will need to be able to find an answer to remain near the top of his sport. At least his new Nike outfit was a winner.....
Novak Djokovic defeated Robin Soderling in straight sets in the 2nd Men's Semifinal 6-3, 6-3. He will now meet Cilic in the Men's Finals. Cilic has lost to Djokovic in all three of their previous matches.