Chennai, Jan 6 (UNI) For the starry eyed tennis fans, who had turned out in large numbers, it was a great disappointment as only the ghost of their favourite World number 2 Rafael Nadal seemed to be going through the motions at Nungambakkam stadium here today.
The Spaniard allowed himself to be downed 6-0, 6-1 by fourth seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny in a tame final.
The left handed Nadal, who had come out of a marathon 3 hour 55 minute semifinal duel with compatriot Carlos Moya last night was hampered.
Not playing his usual power packed game, Nadal saw Youzhny breaking him in the second, fourth and sixth games in the first set and again in the fourth and sixth games in the second.
Youzhny fell into the rhythm straight away and it was only in the second game of the second set that Nadal could hold his serve to draw level 1-1.
Nadal had the doctors attending to him after the fifth game in the second set down 1-4. He resumed but went through the remaining two games listlessly hitting his returns out.
''I was just lucky to win today,'' Youzhny said in the post match press conference after winning his first ATP title of the new season and at Chennai.
His previous participation here in 2001 ended in disaster with a first round ouster.
For Nadal, it was his third outing in Chennai. He promised to give off his best again here next year for the crowds, whom he loves very much.
Going into the match, Nadal had a 6-3 win-loss record against Youzhny in nine duels. For Youzhny, this was his eighth career ATP single final. For Nadal it was his 30th career ATP singles final.
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