Shanghai: An ailing Rafael Nadal added his name to the list of upsets at the Shanghai Masters after the Spaniard suffered a 6-3 7-6(6) loss to Feliciano Lopez in Wednesday's second round, as fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 7 Kei Nishikori also made early exits.
World number one Novak Djokovic kicked off his title defence with a 6-3 6-4 win over Dominic Thiem, while Andy Murray did his hopes of grabbing a spot at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals no harm with an assured 7-5 6-2 win over Jerzy Janowicz.
Nadal has been diagnosed with appendicitis which will require surgery and while the world number two tried to play through the pain he was clearly not at his best. Nadal, who could lose his number two ranking to Roger Federer, looked out of sorts as the first set passed him by, but he gave himself a jolt in the second and looked well placed to level the match.
However, Lopez fought back with the same kind of aggression he had been showing in the first set and forced it to a tiebreaker before closing out the match with a terrific volley at the net.
With five spots still up for grabs at the season-ender in London, Australian Open champion Wawrinka, who fell at the first hurdle in Tokyo last week, suffered the same fate in China with a 5-7 7-5 6-4 defeat to Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Wawrinka broke Simon's serve in the 12th game to claim the opening set but his 29th-ranked opponent battled back to tie the contest before overcoming an early break in the decider and emerging victorious after two and a half hours.
"Two weeks I didn't win matches," the Swiss said on the ATP's official website. "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."
American Jack Sock produced another upset when he defeated Japan's Kei Nishikori 7-6(5) 6-4.
It was the American's first win over a top 10 opponent and brought Nishikori's hot streak to an end. The Japanese came into the tournament after wins in Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo.
MURRAY IN A HURRY
Djokovic, who is undefeated in 26 matches in China, had too much class for up-and-coming Austrian Thiem, winning 76 percent of his service points and saving both break points he faced.
"I had to be on alert from the start because he was serving already 215 kilometres per hour in the first service game," said Djokovic. "He was serving big, playing big.
"He was going for it. I don't blame him. He's a young player, playing on centre court, it's his opportunity to shine."
Briton Murray made short work of an out-of-touch Janowicz to reach the third round with ease, blasting the big-hitting Pole off court in straight sets in less than 90 minutes.
The 27-year-old Scot, boosted by a win at the Shenzhen Open and reaching the semi-finals of the China Open over the last few weeks, is once again in contention for London after climbing to ninth in the Race.
Murray will next meet David Ferrer after the Spaniard survived a tense encounter against Martin Klizan, who served for the match in the second set, to progress.
The fifth seed found the going difficult against his Slovak opponent before grinding out a 4-6 7-6(4) 6-4 victory as he looks to climb up from his current 10th position in the race for the Tour Finals.
World number 553 Chuhan Wang's ATP World Tour debut was halted in another second round encounter when Tunisia's Malek Jaziri beat the Chinese wildcard, who had stunned 15th seed Fabio Fognini in the first round, 6-0 6-4.
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Updated Date: Oct 08, 2014 20:57:15 IST