Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Boy Writes To NASA; NASA Writes Back

A boy's letter to NASA is making waves and softening hearts on the Internet today.
imgur

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:53 pm

Not many children write letters to government entities, we would think. But a boy's letter to NASA is making waves and softening hearts on the Internet today.

"Dear NASA," the letter begins. "My name is Dexter I heard that you are sending 2 people to Mars and I would like to come but I'm 7." The handwritten note, in which Dexter asks for advice about becoming an astronaut, got a full response from NASA, along with some stickers and posters.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

L.A. Residents Get Paid To Cut Lawns — Permanently

Homeowners can receive up to $4,000 for replacing their lawns with less thirsty plantings, in a rebate program run by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
iStock

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:54 pm

Faced with persistent drought and water-usage concerns, the city of Los Angeles is paying property owners to replace their grassy lawns with heartier plants, such as shrubs, trees, and perennials. The city's water utility is hoping to boost the successful program by raising its offer, to $2 a square foot from $1.50, reports member station KPCC.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Mob Brutally Kills Soccer Referee After Player Is Stabbed And Killed In Brazil

Brazilian police have made an arrest in a grisly incident during a soccer match, in which a referee's leveling of a red card penalty set off a clash with a player that resulted in the player's death and ended with the official being brutally killed.

The killings occurred during an amateur game last Sunday, June 30, in Maranhão, a state in Brazil's northeast that is west of Recife.

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Sun July 7, 2013

BBC, Radio Announcer Apologize To Wimbledon Champ Bartoli

France's Marion Bartoli celebrates her Wimbledon women's singles championship. The BBC has apologized to Bartoli for remarks an announcer made about her appearance.
Dominic Lipinski PA Photos/Landov

The BBC and one of its radio tennis commentators are apologizing to Marion Bartoli, after announcer John Inverdale's remarks about the 2013 Wimbledon champion's appearance angered many listeners.

Bartoli, 28, reached a milestone in her life Saturday, by winning the women's singles final at Wimbledon. And that's the perspective she kept after learning of Inverdale's unflattering remarks, in which he suggested that her father might have told Bartoli that she needed to work hard to overcome the fact that she was "never going to be a looker."

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Asiana Flight Tried To Abort Landing Seconds Before Crash

The wreckage of Asiana Flight 214, a Boeing 777 airliner, is seen after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport Saturday. The crash-landing killed two teenage Chinese girls, the airline says.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:39 pm

Update at 5:54 p.m.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 tried to abort its landing and come in for another try just 1 1/2 seconds before it crashed Saturday at San Francisco airport, killing two people and injuring dozens of others.

That was the information gleaned from the jetliner's cockpit voice recorder, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said at a Sunday news conference. NTSB chief Deborah Hersman also said about seven seconds prior to impact, there was a call to increase speed.

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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

President Obama: U.S. 'Deeply Concerned' Over Morsi's Ouster

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 5:39 am

Saying the United States is "deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution," President Obama calls on Egypt's military to preserve the rights and safety of its citizens.

As we've reported in our main post about today's dramatic ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, the military coup could mean that the U.S. will reduce or cease the flow of aid to Egypt.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Morales Returns To A Latin America Fuming Over Plane Snub

A man burns the French flag outside France's embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday. Bolivia's President Evo Morales is returning home late today, after his plane was not allowed to fly in the airspace of France and other countries.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 12:12 pm

Bolivian President Evo Morales is scheduled to land in his home country late tonight, a day after his return journey from meetings in Moscow was disrupted when several European nations withdrew permission for his plane to fly through their airspace.

The delay of more than 13 hours reportedly stemmed from suspicions that Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence worker who leaked secret data, might have been aboard the plane.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Inventor Of Computer Mouse Dies; Doug Engelbart Was 88

This early version of the mouse (named for its tail-like cord) was assembled by Douglas Engelbart and his Stanford team in 1963.
Getty Images/Life

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 6:20 pm

U.S. inventor Doug Engelbart, the man known as the father of the computer mouse and a thinker who helped introduce other key innovations, died Wednesday morning at age 88. His death was announced today by the Computer History Museum.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Accused Cleveland Kidnapper Is Ruled Competent For Trial

Ariel Castro sits with his defense attorneys Craig Weintraub (left) and Jaye Schlachet during Wednesday's hearing, at which he was found mentally competent to stand trial.
Jason Miller AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 11:40 am

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping three women while he held them prisoner in his house for about 10 years, has been declared mentally competent to stand trial. The finding comes one week after a Cleveland judge ordered Castro to undergo an evaluation.

The results of that analysis were presented at a court hearing this morning.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

NASA Has Shut Down Space Telescope Orbiting Earth

"The Galaxy Next Door" — This composite image of the Andromeda galaxy was produced by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, showing Andromeda's ultraviolet side. NASA sent a decommission command to the space telescope Friday.
NASA

NASA is sending a reliable servant into a retirement that will end with a fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere in about 65 years. That's the fate that awaits the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, the "galaxy hunter" space telescope whose original 29-month mission was extended to more than 10 years.

Along the way, the orbiting system, known as GALEX, helped scientists study how galaxies and stars are born, and how they change over time.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Felony Arrest Of Student Who Bought Water Riles Many In Virginia

A college student spent the night in jail and was charged with felony counts after agents approached her car, suspecting she bought beer at this Harris Teeter grocery store in Charlottesville, Va.
Google

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:27 pm

"We're the police."

"This is bottled water."

If an encounter between several young women and Virginia's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents had gone that smoothly, the participants might be looking back on a chance encounter as merely odd, perhaps even funny. Instead, they're coping with the aftermath of a brief flight from authorities that resulted in spending a night in jail and felony charges, now dropped, of hitting agents with a car. The state agency says it's reviewing the case.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Jailed Tunisian Rapper Is Freed; Song Called Police 'Dogs'

Tunisian rapper Ala Yaacoubi, also known by his rap name Weld El 15, left, speaks alongside his lawyer, Ghazi Mrabet, before his trial last month.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 2:29 pm

A Tunisian appeals court has freed rapper Ala Yaacoubi, who last month was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting police officers with his song "The Police Are Dogs."

Critics had said the arrest of Yaacoubi, 25, who performs under the name Weld El 15, was a sign of repression in Tunisia, where mass rallies overthrew former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the start of the Arab Spring in 2011. As NPR reported that summer, several rap songs became anthems for that shift.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Nelson Mandela Is In Critical But Stable Condition, In Latest Update

A family brings a message of good wishes for former South African President Nelson Mandela outside his house in Johannesburg Monday. Mandela, 94, is in critical but stable condition.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:07 am

The condition of former South African leader Nelson Mandela is "still critical but stable," according to the office of President Jacob Zuma. Mandela, 94, has been in a Pretoria hospital since June 8 with a lung infection.

In the first official update on Mandela's health since Thursday, the presidency also urged people to prepare for the beloved rights activist's birthday later this month.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Heat Wave Will Bake Southwest For Most Of This Week

The National Weather Service predicts triple-digit temperatures in the Southwest until at least Wednesday. The temperature in Death Valley hit 128 degrees Sunday, a record high for June in the United States.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 1:53 pm

The record-breaking heat that has broiled the Southwest since Friday shows no signs of letting up. According to the National Weather Service, "triple-digit temperatures will be common across the Southwest" through at least Wednesday.

The temperature in Death Valley — where the temperature reached 134 degrees in 1913, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth — hit 128 degrees Sunday. That mark set a record high for the month of June in the U.S. The weather service says to expect similar heat today.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon July 1, 2013

EU Officials Question Kerry On 'Unacceptable' Spying Claims

European Union officials spoke to Secretary of State John Kerry about claims that the U.S. spied on EU offices in America. Kerry is in Brunei for a security conference.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:18 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is hearing from European allies who are upset with recent reports that the U.S. has spied on its friends. The European Union's top diplomat asked Kerry about the reports at a security conference Monday. Other officials say the case could derail talks on free trade.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Ecuador Backs Off NSA Leaker Snowden, Citing Asylum Rules

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:25 pm

(This post was updated at 6:17 p.m.)

Fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said in a letter released Monday that he was "unbowed" and thanked his "new friends" for his continued liberty.

The letter is the first time Snowden has broken his silence since he fled to Moscow eight days ago, and it comes on the same day Russian immigration officials say he applied for political asylum in the country.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Arizona Wildfire Kills 19 Firefighters, Deadliest In Decades

The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the city of Prescott, Ariz. The elite team of 19 firemen were killed on Sunday in one of the deadliest U.S. firefighting disasters in decades.
City of Prescott Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 2:17 pm

In what is being called the deadliest U.S. wildfire in at least 30 years, an out-of-control blaze trapped and killed 19 firefighters Sunday in central Arizona. They had been forced to use temporary shelters in an attempt to survive.

All of those killed were part of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group based in Prescott, Ariz., that uses rigorous training to prepare for fighting wildfires. They are frequently deployed to the front lines of firefighting efforts against such blazes.

Update at 6:04 p.m. ET: Firefighters Identified

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The Two-Way
6:42 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Prop. 8 Plaintiffs Marry In California, After Stay Is Lifted

Kris Perry, left, kisses Sandy Stier as they are married at City Hall in San Francisco Friday. The two got their marriage license after a federal appeals court cleared the way for California counties to resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:24 pm

Same-sex marriages have now resumed in California, after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday removed a stay that had kept counties from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. The court's move comes two days after the Supreme Court ruled on a case involving the state's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.

Update at 8:05 p.m. ET: First Gay Marriage After Prop 8

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Deadly Violence Hits Egypt In Clashes Over Morsi's Leadership

Opponents of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi burn the contents of an office of the Freedom and Justice Party, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Alexandria Friday. Two people were reportedly killed in clashes in the city.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:02 pm

Two people have died in Alexandria, Egypt, where protests against President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been building all week. Egyptian security officials say one of the dead is an American citizen. Dozens of people were wounded in the violence.

Update at 8 p.m. ET: Death Of U.S. Citizen Confirmed

"We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in Alexandria, Egypt," State Department Press Office Director Patrick Ventrell said in a news release Friday evening.

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The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Retired General Defends Himself Amid Leak Reports

Attorneys for former Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Marine Gen. James Cartwright say it is "preposterous" to say he betrayed the United States. Here, Cartwright is seen during an announcement by President Obama, along with, from left, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Susan Walsh AP

Retired Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff who has reportedly been named as a target of a federal leak investigation, has issued a statement defending himself, saying that he did not betray the United States.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Highs Of 117 Expected In Las Vegas, In Dangerous Heat Wave

Excessive heat warnings will continue for much of the Desert Southwest through Monday. Here, Maria Wieser of Italy drinks water while sightseeing in Death Valley National Park on Friday.
Chris Carlson AP

A heat wave is broiling America's Southwest, where temperatures are expected to soar past 110 degrees in coming days. Before noon on Friday, temperatures in many parts of southeastern California, Nevada and Arizona had already topped 100 degrees.

An "excessive heat warning" was issued Friday by the National Weather Service, which blames the dangerously high temperatures on "a massive area of high pressure across the Western United States through Monday."

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Regulators File Charges Against Corzine Over MF Global Debacle

Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Senate Approves Sweeping Immigration Overhaul, In Final Vote

The Senate has passed a sweeping immigration bill, widely seen as the product of the "Gang of 8," a group that includes Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz. (left), and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The two shook hands before Thursday's final vote.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:19 pm

The Senate approved a sweeping immigration bill Thursday, endorsing a bill that would put millions of immigrants who illegally entered the United States on a path to citizenship. The final vote tally on the bill was 68 in favor, with 32 opposed.

The bill also includes measures that would punish employers who take advantage of immigrant workers, as well as providing billions in spending to employ fences and high-tech tools to help secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

All 52 Democratic senators voted for the bill, along with 14 Republicans and two independents.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

NFL's Aaron Hernandez Loses Appeal For Bail In Murder Case

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will be held without bail on murder charges, a judge has confirmed. Here, Hernandez, left, stands with one his defense attorneys, Michael Fee, during his arraignment in Attleboro District Court Wednesday.
Mike George AP

NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was charged with first-degree murder and weapons crimes Wednesday, will not be released on bail, the Fall River Superior Court has ruled. Hernandez, 23, was released by the New England Patriots within hours of his arrest yesterday.

While Hernandez's defense attorney, Jamie Sultan, said that releasing a murder suspect on bail was a possibility, the judge in the bail hearing replied that it was "very rare."

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The Two-Way
11:03 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

As People Head Into Space, PayPal Says It Will Follow Them

No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space: PayPal is announcing a project with SETI, aiming to solve issues around taking regular people — and commerce — into space. Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel, from the Space Tourism Society.
John Spencer Space Tourism Society

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:48 am

Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."

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The Two-Way
6:28 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Man Indicted In Scheme To Blackmail Romney Over Tax Returns

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:02 pm

A Tennessee man faces federal charges after a grand jury indicted him on counts of fraud and extortion, in a case stemming from claims made about tax documents of Republican Mitt Romney during last year's presidential campaign.

Michael Mancil Brown of Franklin, Tenn., is accused of attempting to carry out fraud and using "a facility of interstate commerce, to wit the Internet," to do so.

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Texas Legislators Called Back For Special Session On Abortion Bill

Members of the gallery in the Capitol in Austin played a role in a vote on an abortion bill taking place after an official deadline. "We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do," Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday, in calling for a special session.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:33 pm

After a vote on a controversial bill to restrict abortion in Texas was deemed to have fallen outside of the state's legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry has called for a special session to take up the issue, along with other topics. The session is scheduled to begin July 1 at 2 p.m., ET.

As our colleague Elise Hu reported, the proposed abortion law inspired a filibuster attempt from state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth:

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Federer Loses In Wimbledon's Second Round As Upsets Continue

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer leaves the court Wednesday, after losing in the second round to Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Roger Federer, who last year won his seventh Wimbledon title, is out of the 2013 tournament after falling to Ukrainian Sergei Stakhovsky, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. The upset comes two days after Rafael Nadal, who was in the same side of the bracket as Federer, was upset in the first round.

Sergiy Stakhovsky is ranked No. 116 in the world. Federer is ranked No. 3 in the world. The victory is Stakhovsky's first against an opponent ranked in the top 10.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

NFL Tight End Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder

Aaron Hernandez was cut by the New England Patriots after he was arrested Wednesday. Hernandez faces first-degree murder charges in the death of Odin Lloyd, 27.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Pro football player Aaron Hernandez, who until today was a member of the New England Patriots, was charged with murder and other crimes in a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday. He was arrested this morning and formally charged this afternoon, with authorities blaming him for the death of Odin Lloyd, 27, whose body was found on June 17.

A judge has ordered that Hernandez be held without bail.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Rafael Nadal Loses In First-Round Upset At Wimbledon

Steve Darcis of Belgium, left, shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain Monday, after winning their first-round match at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

Rafael Nadal has been bounced from Wimbledon, after being dismissed in three sets by Belgium's Steve Darcis, who is ranked No. 135 in the world. Nadal's upset loss by 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4 stunned tennis fans, shook up the men's bracket, and raised questions about the Spanish star's health.

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