Lawn Tennis
Rafael Nadal Upset By Mikhail Youzhny In Chennai Final
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Monday, January 7, 2008 6:00am CST USA
Rafael Nadal Upset By Mikhail Youzhny In Chennai final
Photo by M. Lakshman/AP
Chennai--( World number two Rafael Nadal of Spain recorded one of his worst losses ever Sunday in the final of the Chennai Open as he lost to 15th ranked Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-0, 6-1 in only 58 minutes.

To his credit Nadal refused to blame injury or fatigue for the shocking result. Saturday in the semifinals Nadal battled for three hours and 54 minutes to defeat fellow Spainard Carlos Moya 6-7(3-7), 7-6(12-10), 7-6(7-1) in the longest three set match on the ATP Tour in 15 years.

"Rafa was not Rafa," Youzhny said. "I did not win today, it was Rafa who lost. I did not expect it to be so easy. I was lucky as he just couldn't move and couldn't play."

Missing some of his best shots in the final, Nadal delivered numerous errors to quicky fall behind 0-6 after set one. In the second set Nadal lost his first three service games to fall behind 1-4. Youzhny then rattled off a batch of winners to claim his fourth career singles title.

Though clearly tired from his lengthy semifinal, Nadal acknowledged the sterling effort from Youzhny.

"Mikhail played unbelievable tennis and deserved to win. I will now go to Melbourne and practice for a week and hopefully I will be at my best at the (Australian) Open.

Youzhny who dropped only one set the whole week in the second round, moved to 4-6 head to head versus Nadal and aspired to build on his 5-0 start for the year.

"I improved with every match in this tournament," he said, "and I hope I continue the same way at the Australian Open."

In 2007 Youzhny lost in the third round at the Australian Open to world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(7-5).

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