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‘Nadal is bigger than the sport’, says Hubert Hurkacz after beating Spaniard in Rome 2nd round

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz hailed Rafael Nadal after beating the legendary Spaniard in the Round of 64 at the Italian Open in Rome on Saturday. Hurkacz served up a clinical performance to rout Nadal in straight sets (6-1, 6-3) as the 22-time Grand Slam champion equalled his worst performance on clay at the ATP level. This was the first time in 21-years that Nadal had only managed to win four games in a loss on clay, the last coming against Gaston Gaudio in Hamburg (2-6, 2-6) in 2003. Nadal would, however, put the Pole to the test with five break-point opportunities in the latter’s first game but Hurkacz pulled through. Hurkacz, ranked No. 9 in the ATP Rankings and seeded seventh in Rome, sealed his maiden Lexus over Nadal in 93 minutes. It was also his first win at the venue since 2020. "...