The 21-time major champion's 20-match winning streak this year has been snapped by American Taylor Fritz, who upset Nadal 6-3, 6-7 (5) Sunday to win the Indian Wells Open.
It is an honor to be on the same court as this guy.
The fighting spirit of Nadal was on full display, but he was bothered by breathing problems that he first experienced in the semifinals.
During the final, he took two medical timeouts. He lost the first set. Nadal went inside with a trainer. He was treated on the court after falling behind in the second set.
It is very uncomfortable when I try to breathe. It is like a needle all the time inside. I get dizzy because it hurts. It is a kind of pain that limits me a lot.
He was dealing with a health issue.
He injured his ankle in the semifinals. Blue medical tape could be seen above his high socks as he cut short a practice session early Sunday.
Nadal was broken twice in the first set by Fritz. Nadal got a break back in the second set, but his backhand error gave the set to the other side.
On his serve, Nadal fought off a match point with a forehand winner to tie the second set. He had two break points in the next game, but the American held for a 5-5 lead. Nadal held on to force a tie.
Nadal sent two straight forehands to set up the second match point. The biggest victory of the young American's career was not far from where he grew up in San Diego. Guy and Kathy May were tour players.
He said that winning this tournament is one of those crazy childhood dreams that you don't think will ever happen.
The man fell on his back after dropping his racket. He looked at his face with disbelief and got up smiling. He was the first American man to win Indian Wells since 2001 and earned over $1 million.
The American will become the top-ranked player in the world when he rises from 20 to 13 in Monday's rankings. The man is moving up to No. 3.
The Australian Open was the 21st major championship that Nadal has won, breaking a tie with Novak and Roger. He won titles in two other places.
The last two months have been unforgettable and very emotional, Nadal said.
Nadal had already decided to skip the Miami tournament and return to Spain to prepare for the French Open, which begins May 22.
The Associated Press contributed to the story.