Nadal retains No 5 ranking despite loss

Feb 12, 2013, 09:11 IST | AFP

Horacio Zeballos denied Rafael Nadal a fairytale finish to his comeback tournament on Sunday, rallying to hand the Spaniard a rare clay court defeat in the $410,200 ATP event here

Zeballos, ranked 73rd in the world and playing in just his second ATP Tour final, rallied to beat the former World No 1 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (8/6), 6-4. He became only the third player — along with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer — to beat Nadal in a clay court final. Nadal said: “It was a great tournament for me. If we take everything, it was positive. It’s true I wanted to win the final but it wasn’t possible. He made things better than me and I didn’t play my best match.”

Rafael Nadal reacts after losing in the Vina del Mar final to Argentine Horacio Zeballos yesterday

The Spaniard, who was back in action first time here since a surprise second-round exit at Wimbledon in June, however retained his World No 5 ranking.

Novak Djokovic comfortably retained his World No 1 spot too in the ATP, as France’s Richard Gasquet returned to the Top 10 after winning his second tournament of the year at the Sud de France Open on Sunday. The top four remain the same though, with Roger Federer, Andy Murray and David Ferrer also standing in front of the Spaniard’s comeback bid.

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