(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two rounds after Roger Federer's unexpected exit from the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal has joined him on the sidelines.
Nadal's lack of match fitness from nearly six months of injuries and illness finally caught up with the 14-time major champion in his quarterfinal match against seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych on Tuesday. He was never much of a factor and lost in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (5).
The third-seeded Nadal said before the tournament that his inactivity over the last half of 2014 made him unlikely to win more than a few rounds. Coming into the Australian Open, Nadal had played only eight matches since last June because of a right wrist injury and appendix surgery in November.