Garcia-Lopez came from a set down to set up a final against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen with a 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win over the world’s top-ranked player.
Nadal, who had only lost seven matches this season, failed to convert 24 break points with Lopez capitalising on the unfamiliar generosity from the reigning French Open, Wimbledon and US Open champion.
“I have never beaten a number one player in the world before,” said Garcia-Lopez after the two hour 45 minute match. “I’ve beaten some good top 10 players, but never a number one.”
“I think it was the best match of my career. I think the tie-break in the second set was the key. I felt much better after that and I was playing great at the end. Everything went perfectly.”
Nadal, meanwhile, was left to rue missed opportunities. The world No1 said: “I had a lot of break point chances in the second set, too many chances.
“He played a great match especially in the third set, but I was playing better than him in the beginning. I didn’t play the break points well. With 26 opportunities to break you have to take your chances.
“It’s a difficult loss to accept. I was playing well and had a good opportunity to get to the final.”
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BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard
BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge