Nadal toppled at Indian Wells

  • Last Updated: March 11 2014, 7:43 GMT

Defending champion Rafael Nadal crashed out on a day of shocks at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

  • Alexandr Dolgopolov: Pulled off a huge upset at Indian Wells
  • Rafael Nadal: World number one crashed out 

The world number one Nadal fell 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7/5) to Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Nadal had struggled past Radek Stepanek in his first match and was a long way from his best against in-form 28th seed Dolgopolov.

He looked to have saved the day when he first recovered from a set down and then broke his opponent when he served for the match at 5-3 in the deciding set.

Nadal led 4-2 in the tie-break but simply could not find his range and Dolgopolov took his first match point despite seeing what he thought was an ace overturned by HawkEye.

The Ukrainian powered away a forehand instead to set up a fourth-round meeting with Italian Fabio Fognini, who saved two match points on his way to victory over Gael Monfils.

Nadal admitted after beating Stepanek that the back injury that hampered him in the Australian Open final had taken away his confidence on serve, but speaking after losing to Dolgopolov, he said: "I played bad. That's all.

"I'm disappointed with the way I played. But that happens sometimes. I did all that I had to do to be in good shape.

"I worked very hard for the last week. After Rio I had a few days off to recover the back. Then I think I worked great, and with good feeling. But since I started the competition here I didn't find the right feelings.

"I saved a tough situation the first day. Today I was close to saving another one. But at the end, when you are on the limit, these things happen.

"You can lose. I lost today. I congratulate him. He played I think better than me. That's it. Life continues. I'm going to keep working hard to try to be ready for Miami."

Dolgopolov put together a video earlier this month featuring the likes of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray wishing for peace in Ukraine.

He said: "It's a moment for the people to be proud a little bit for someone from their country, I guess.

"It's good to make some results and make the people forget a little bit and have some happy moments in the news except the politics and all the bad stuff happening."

Roger Federer avoided the shocks but had to battle his way through two tie-breaks to beat Russian Dmitry Tursunov 7-6 (9/7) 7-6 (7/2).

Federer's Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka does not appear to have had any kind of comedown after winning the Australian Open and was ruthless in beating Andreas Seppi 6-0 6-2.


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30