Top seed Rafael Nadal is knocked out by unseeded Pablo Cuevas at the Rio Open. .

Is this the end for Rafael Nadal?

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We know him for his blistering forehand, his over-obsessive superstitions and his biting trophy celebration, however, the hardcore Rafael Nadal fans have recently only seen one of those. And not the one they want. His forehand and championship winning celebrations have almost been unseen in recent months.

Majorcan-born Nadal continued his poor start to the 2016 season after a surprising defeat to unseeded player Pablo Cuevas in the semi-finals at the Rio Open. This consecutive semi-final defeat comes after he lost to Dominic Thiem in the Argentina Open. 

"I didn't win a title so it wasn't a positive two tournaments," Nadal expressed


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The Spaniard had a particular testing 2015, he had a dismal showing at the Grand Slams, with his best result of the year at the French Open reaching the quarter-finals - where nine out of his 14 titles have been won.

With the next Masters 1000 at Indian Wells, a hard court, it is safe to say he has a high percentage of not winning that. It is clear that hard courts don't suit his aggressive approach to the game but right now, what surface does? 

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Nadal has dominated the ATP tour for many years, winning 14 Grand Slam titles and currently sitting in 3rd in the all-time winners list, but will he still be third in two years? With Novak Djokovic taking the tennis world by storm winning almost everything and only five Grand Slam titles behind Nadal, the Serbian has a high chance of surpassing Rafa and who knows, even knocking Roger Federer off the top spot at 17. 

Rafa's performance in Grand Slam competitions have been nothing short of below par, after his disappointing first round defeat to fellow countryman Fernando Verdasco in Australia, the former world number 1 has now failed to reach the second week in three consecutive majors and not made a semi-final since his appearance at Roland Garros in 2014.


With the next Grand Slam in his 'own backyard' in France, on his beloved surface of clay, don't rule anything out just yet. Put Nadal, his forehand and those short shorts back on Philippe Chatrier and you might just see that biting celebration. 

Will Rafael Nadal win another Grand Slam title? Give us your opinion in the comment box below!

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Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
US Open Tennis
Novak Djokovic
French Open

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