It was a disappointing Monday for two of the best tennis players in the world. According to Sports Illustrated on March 10, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova both suffered losses in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open.
Nadal lost to Alexandr Dolgopolov in a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3) match that left the world number one player quite disappointed. He ended up with 49 unforced errors, compared to his 17 winners. The Spaniard battled it out in the third set after trailing 5-2 but even after a tiebreaker, Nadal made too many mistakes and ended up being ousted by the Ukrainian.
“I played bad,” Nadal said. “That’s all. I’m disappointed with the way I played. But that happens sometimes.”
Dolgopolov spoke to the media about some of the up and coming younger players as he said that some of the older players are starting to have their ups and downs on the tennis court.
“All of us get older, and that’s normal,” he said. “Every generation is going to go and the younger ones are going to push. But I think it’s good for the tour that the people see new people playing. It’s more fun that way.”
Maria Sharapova was also upset earlier in the day to Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi in a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 losing match in the third round at Indian Wells. The defending champ lost the first two sets and struggled to come back in the third set. However, too many errors contributed to her losing the match.
“I did not play a good match at all and I started very poorly,” Sharapova stated. “I've never played against her, but she’s someone that doesn't give you much rhythm. She’s quite aggressive, but some shots she hits incredible for a long period of time. Sometimes they go off a bit. But if I’m speaking about my level, it was nowhere near where it should have been.”
Unfortunately, this loss will drop Sharapova's current ranking from fifth to number seven in the updated ATP world rankings.