Former World no 1 Rafael Nadal has crashed out of the Australian Open after losing to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in a five-set thriller in the first-round in Melbourne on Tuesday, 19 January.
Nadal, who was aiming to end his major drought since June 2014, lost a close first-set in the tie-breaker to Verdasco. However, the 14-time Grand Slam champion levelled things up after winning the second set 6-4.
Nadal continued to turn on the heat on Verdacso in the third set, which he won 6-3. However, Verdasco fought back in the fourth set, and constantly attacked Nadal's serve.
The set went to a tiebreaker, and Verdasco won it to set up a deciding fifth set. Nadal lost his rhythm in the final set, and Verdasco broke him early to step closer to a win.
In the eight game, Verdasco broke Nadal again to win the match 7-6 (6) 4-6 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-2.