In the bottom part of the draw at Shanghai Rolex Masters, Rafael Nadal (Player Profile), who returned to the top spot in the ATP Rankings this week, overcame his first hurdle by brushing aside Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov (Player Profile) in straight sets. The second seed Spaniard was never confronted with a break point threat over the course of the second round clash – he closed out the opener with a hold to love, whilst he converted the first match point to defeat the Ukraininan opponent 6-3, 6-2 after merely one hour of hard court tennis. His third round rival will be Argentine’s Carlos Berlocq who upset fourteenth-seeded American John Isner by beating him 6-4, 7-6 (4).
One of the contenders for an ATP World Tour Finals spot Stanislas Wawrinka (Player Profile), seed number eight, won a closely-fought battle against Kevin Anderson (Player Profile) of South Africa after edging him out in the third-set tie-break. The decider was a neck and neck race with both of the competitors holding on to their serves. Anderson then went 4-2 up in the thirteenth game, yet the Swiss number two had enough gas left in his tank to turn the tide and clinch an important 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6) victory. He will now meet in-form Milos Raonic (Player Profile) who also progressed in three sets by taking out Spain’s Fernando Verdasco (Player Profile) – the Canadian won 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3.
Last week’s Tokyo title holder Juan Martin del Potro (Player Profile) also had to dig deep to turn around the encounter against Philipp Kohlschreiber (Player Profile) and secure a third round ticket by winning 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). The athletes could not be separated after the first two sets, whilst the German prevented Delpo serving out the match in the decider. However, the Argentine did just enough in the tie-break to squeeze into the next round where he is meeting another German Tommy Haas – the eleventh seed veteran got the better of his countryman Daniel Brands as he won 6-4, 6-4.
Fourth seed Tomas Berdych (Player Profile), who forfeited the semi-final clash against Nadal in Beijing several days ago, started the Shanghai Masters in a convincing fashion by eliminating Feliciano Lopez (Player Profile) in straight sets. The Spaniard put up a good fight in the opener which ended in a tie-break, whilst he was broken a couple of times in the following set which allowed the favorite to grab a comfortable enough 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory. The Czech will now face another Spanish player, fifteenth-seeded Nicolas Almagro, who reached the last 16 by toppling France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4.
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