While the opening two days of the tournament featured little in terms of notable upsets apart from Marin Cilic’s surprise exit to Ivo Karlovic, Day 3 at the tournament brought with it an exceptional amount of seeded player upsets.
The day kicked off with a Gilles Simon’s three-set upset over Stan Wawrinka, where he rallied from a set down to defeat the Swiss No. 2 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. While Wawrinka maintained better match stats than the Frenchman, he handed him a crucial break point in the third set that determined the outcome of the match.
“It wasn’t that I had everything under control,” said Wawrinka, reflecting on his 3-0 lead in the final set. “I was playing good. I did two stupid games I will say at 3-0. I had the wind with me, I did some bad mistakes. I was rushing a little bit. Was not the best day.
“Two first round [losses]. It’s never easy, for sure. Two weeks I didn’t win matches. But you have to accept that and see what was the problem. I don’t think I lost my game. I think I’m playing okay. I just had two really bad matches. I will take the positives from losing early. I need to accept, go back home, try to focus on the rest of the year because there are so many big challenges for me, that I want to be fresh and ready mentally for.”
Both Tokyo finalists, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori suffered surprising losses in their second round matches against Juan Monaco and Jack Sock respectively. While Nishikori lost to the American in straight sets, 7-6(5), 6-4, Raonic retired from his match down 5-2 in the opening set due to a cold he had picked up during his travel that had kept him bedridden for the past few days.
In keeping up with the theme of the day, France’s Julien Benneteau needed just 81 minutes to eliminate Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 6-3 and reach the third round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Benneteau attacked Dimitrov’s second service points, allowing the Bulgarian to win a measly 33% (10 of 30 points), while he won 13/15 second serice points (87%).