Paris Masters: Rafael Nadal loses to Tommy Paul with Dan Evans and Jack Draper eliminated
Rafael Nadal is out of the Paris Masters after a second-round defeat by American Tommy Paul in just the Spaniard’s second match since the US Open and first since becoming a father.
World number 31 Paul came from a set down to beat Nadal 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.
Defeat for Nadal, who has battled an abdominal injury since the summer, saw his hopes of ending the year as world number one suffer a huge blow.
British number one Cameron Norrie lost to French qualifier Corentin Moutet.
There are no remaining British players in the draw, after Dan Evans and Jack Draper were also eliminated in the second round on Wednesday.
Nadal, 36, has only played once – a Laver Cup doubles match alongside Roger Federer – since losing in the fourth round of the US Open in early September.
He faded towards the end of the second set against 25-year-old Paul, who secured one of the wins of his career.
The Paris Masters is the final regular ATP Tour event of the season, before the ATP Finals get under way in Turin on 13 November.
Both titles are missing from 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal’s illustrious trophy cabinet.
“At the end, I need days on the Tour,” Nadal said. “It’s true that for the last five months I didn’t spend enough days on the tour. I don’t even say competing on a tennis court; I say on the tour, practising with the guys. That’s what I need.”
On competing at the ATP Finals, Nadal said: “I am going to try, if nothing happens, if I am feeling OK, to be there a little bit earlier than usual and have some practices.
“Just give myself a chance to enjoy another Finals. You never know when is going to be the last, especially at my age,” he added.
“So I’m going to give my best to enjoy this one, and then next years of course I’m going to fight to be back there.”
Norrie falls on bad day for the Brits
Following defeats for Evans and Draper, Norrie’s shock loss to qualifier Moutet late in the day ended British interest in Paris.
World number 13 Norrie did not get under way against Moutet, ranked 64th, until after midnight.
Just under three hours later he lost a third-set tie-break, falling to a 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-3) defeat, having made 27 unforced errors and served four double faults.
Moutet will be back in action on Thursday when he faces Greek world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat British number two Evans 6-3 6-4.
Tsitsipas, 24, recorded breaks of serve early in both sets against 32-year-old Evans, who is ranked 27th in the world.
Meanwhile, Draper lost to American US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe 6-3 7-5.
World number 21 Tiafoe made the breakthrough in the eighth game against left-hander Draper before saving two break points as he served out the opening set.
British number three Draper, 45th in the rankings, was a game away from levelling the contest at 5-4 as the second set continued on serve, but Tiafoe closed out the match by winning three successive games.
Draper will contest the upcoming NextGen ATP finals for the season’s best players aged under 21, which takes place in Milan, from 8 November.
Former world number one Andy Murray lost his opening match against Frenchman Gilles Simon on Monday.
Daniil Medvedev also suffered a surprise defeat by Alex de Minaur in his second-round match.
Russia’s Medvedev, who won the US Open last year, lost 6-4 2-6 7-5 to the Australian.