Rafa Nadal was sent packing in the last eight at the China Open by world number 20 Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.
Despite two breaks in the first set, the fourteen-time Grand Slam champion was unable to keep his serve and Dimitrov kept the pressure on for a 6-2, 6-4 victory -- his first over the Spaniard in nine attempts.
Nadal: "You can't lose your serve five times"
"Losing five serves in a row is something that you cannot [do and] win a match like this. That's it," Nadal said after the loss.
Nadal, 30, is approaching the end of his second consecutive season without a Slam title since he won his first aged 19 at Roland Garros in 2005.
The loss in the Chinese capital also puts his qualification for an 11th consecutive ATP Final -- which brings together the season's top eight players -- in doubt.