Rafael Nadal knocked out in the First Round at the Auistralian Open

He lost to Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco in five sets

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Picture by: Aaron Favila / AP/Press Association Images

Fifth seed Rafael Nadal has been knocked out of the Australian Open in the First Round.

Nadal lost in five sets to Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco. He lost the final set 6-2 in a match that lasted over four and a half hours.

It is the first time in Nadal's career that he has been knocked out in the First Round at the Australian Open. His previous worst performance was a Third Round loss on his debut in 2004.

Before today's loss, the two Spaniards had played each other 17 times. Nadal was the winner on 15 occasions having won the first 14 matches between the pair.

The loss means that Nadal has now failed to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam in seven attempts. He was last victorious in one of tennis' big four events at the 2014 French Open.

There was also a shock overnight in the Women's draw. Eighth seed Venus Williams lost in straight sets to British player Johanna Konta in the First Round. That match finished 6-4, 6-2.