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Top Seeds Crash Out In Shanghai

  • Posted: Oct 15, 2015

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah duplicated their recent success against World No. 1s Bob and Mike Bryan on Thursday in Shanghai. The unseeded Colombians rallied to take out the top-seeded Americans 6-7(1), 7-6(7), 10-7 to reach the quarter-finals.

For the Bryans, it was a second setback against Cabal/Farah in as many weeks, the Californians having dropped a Match Tie-break in the round of 16 against the eventual Tokyo finalists just a few days ago. They were up a set and a break, then held match point at 6/5 in the second-set tie-break, but saw their opponents roar back to take the match. The top seeds made eight of nine first serves in the Match Tie-break, but dropped four of nine service points to bow out in one hour and 51 minutes.

The Bryans currently lead the way with 6,285 Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London points and are closely pursued by Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau (5,950 points). However, the second-ranked team will not be making up ground in the Race To London this week, as it was sent packing by Feliciano Lopez and Max Mirnyi 7-5, 7-5 in 78 minutes on Thursday. Lopez/Mirnyi only made 62 per cent of first serves compared to their opponents’ 72 per cent, but had twice as many break point chances (10-5) and breaks of serve (4-2).

In the quarter-finals, Cabal/Farah will take on No. 7 Daniel Nestor/Edouard Roger-Vasselin, while Lopez/Mirnyi will face No. 8 Rohan Bopanna/Lukasz Kubot.

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Nadal Rolls Into Shanghai QF

  • Posted: Oct 15, 2015

Rafael Nadal’s Asian swing gathered further momentum on Thursday with the eighth seed posting a 6-3, 7-6(3) triumph over Canada’s Milos Raonic at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. After reaching his first hard-court final of the season last week in Beijing, Nadal registered his first win over a Top-10 opponent in six attempts to reach the quarter-finals. His last was against World No. 7 Tomas Berdych at ATP Masters 1000 Madrid.

The 2009 Shanghai runner-up broke Raonic’s opening service game for 2-0 when the No. 9 seed fired a forehand well wide. He maintained the advantage to serve out the opening set with Raonic dumping a backhand return into the net on set point.

“Today, I felt that I was not playing with as much nerves when I am on court,” said Nadal. “I was able to enjoy the match.”

Nadal scored the early mini-break in the second-set tie-break for 1/0. He surged to 5/2 and whipped a forehand passing shot winner to bring up four match points. He secured the match on his second chance when Raonic’s forehand hit the net. The win extended Nadal’s FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Raonic to 6-1 and avenges a quarter-final defeat the last time the pair met at ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells this year.

“Winning a match 7‑6 in the third yesterday and winning a match again today in the tiebreak of a second set, two tiebreaks without losing a point with my serve, it’s impossible if you don’t have control of your emotions.  That’s something that, a couple of months ago, would have been impossible for me,” added Nadal.

 “My serve obviously worked much better than yesterday, but when I play well on my service game, it’s not just because I serve well, but especially because I play well from the baseline,” said Nadal, who has not dropped serve since being broken by Ivo Karlovic in the opening game of the second round.

Nadal’s quarter-final foe will be Stan Wawrinka, who needed nearly three hours to overcome Marin Cilic, 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-4. The Swiss came away with the first set by break his opponent on the final point, but squandered a match point in the second-set tie-break before closing out the win in three. The Spaniard leads the rivalry 12-2, but Wawrinka has not dropped a set in the pair’s past two meetings (2015 Rome and 2015 Australian Open).

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Nadal Hits Triple Shanghai Hot Shot

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2015

Rafael Nadal hits not one, not two, but three incredible returns in succession to break Ivo Karlovic at a crucial stage in the first set of their Shanghai second-round contest.

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Djokovic, Wawrinka Cruise Into Third Round

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2015

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic improved to a 13-match winning streak on Wednesday as he reached the third round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters with an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 victory over Martin Klizan.

The Serb is looking to win the Beijing-Shanghai double for the third time (2012-13). Last week, he surged to a sixth China Open crown in Beijing for the loss of just 18 games in five matches – the lowest five-match total of his career en route to a title. It marked his eighth tour-level title of the season, which has already seen him clinch the year-end No. 1 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

In his second clash this season with Klizan, Djokovic converted five of his 10 break points and lost only one point behind his second serve as he raced to victory in 63 minutes. The Belgrade native improved to a 69-5 match record on the season and a 20-3 mark in Shanghai.

“Klizan is a very flashy player,” said Djokovic. “I knew that coming into the court.  I knew that he’s talented. He can play very fast but with a tendency to make a lot of unforced errors, which he did. He made my life a bit easier on the court today. I was trying to serve, move him around the court. Just played as much as I needed. It was enough to win.

“I’m aware of the mental edge that I might have over a certain amount of players, and I try to use that,” continued the Serb. “I try to win and do anything that is possible and necessary for me to achieve that. Probably that was the case, him not being able to maybe perform as well as he wanted.” 

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka also maintained his winning run, defeating Viktor Troicki 7-6(3), 6-3. The Swiss is coming off his fourth title of the season in Tokyo last week (d. Paire) and dismissed Troicki in 88 minutes, breaking serve twice from eight opportunities.

Wawrinka, who has never been past the quarter-finals in six appearances in Shanghai, set a third-round contest with Marin Cilic, whom he leads 8-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.  

Richard Gasquet battled to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Vasek Pospisil to set a third-round clash with Bernard Tomic. The 11th-seeded Frenchman withstood 13 aces from Pospisil to break the Canadian’s serve three times, triumphing in just over two hours.


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Nishikori Reflects On Kyrgios Win

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2015

Kei Nishikori explains how he turned the match around after a tough start against Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Watch live matches at

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Murray Beats Johnson In Shanghai Opener; Berdych Edges Sock

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2015

Andy Murray showed few signs of rust on Wednesday as he returned to action after a three-week break to beat Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The Scot was competing for the first time since leading Great Britain into the Davis Cup final with victory over Australia in Glasgow. In his first meeting with the No. 47-ranked Johnson, Murray converted four of his five break points, including a break of serve in the final game of the match to claim victory in 74 minutes.

“I felt good,” said Murray. “I thought I moved well from the beginning, struck the ball cleanly. From my side, I was happy with the way that I played and also the way my body felt. I thought I moved around the court very well. That’s obviously an important part of my game. That was key.” 

The 28-year-old Murray is a two-time former champion at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, lifting the trophy in 2010 (d. Federer) and 2011 (d. Ferrer). He also finished runner-up in 2012, losing a close contest to Novak Djokovic.

Murray has a 62-10 mark on the season, highlighted by winning four ATP World Tour titles. He will look to reach the Shanghai quarter-finals when he takes on John Isner on Thursday. Murray takes a 4-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage over Isner into the third-round clash, most recently beating the 6’10” American in the Davis Cup earlier this year.

Looking ahead to the Isner clash, Murray said, “We’re playing 1:30 tomorrow. The court plays a little bit quicker during the day. When the sun goes down and you play in the evening, it can slow the conditions down. Playing earlier makes it a little bit quicker. So breaking serve will be tougher.

“But, I played well against him in the past. I’ve won some close ones against him. But he’s played very well this year. He’s been a lot more consistent outside of the States this year. It will be a tough match.”

Fifth seed Tomas Berdych survived a stern test against Jack Sock, edging the American 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 25 minutes. Sock was made to rue converting just three of 14 break point chances, including missing three break points in the final game as Berdych served out the victory.

The 30-year-old Berdych is fifth in the Emirates ATP Race To London and next in line to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Czech recently won his first ATP World Tour title of the season in Shenzhen (d. Garcia-Lopez) and has a 50-17 mark on the year.

Berdych goes on to face 10th seed Gilles Simon, who rallied from a set down to beat Leonardo Mayer 6-7(0), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 37 minutes. Simon was runner-up in Shanghai last year (l. to Federer). The Frenchman has enjoyed success against Berdych in the past, winning seven of their 11 meetings, including in the Shanghai quarter-finals last year.


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Nishikori Has All The Answers

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2015

No matter what Nick Kyrgios throws at him, Kei Nishikori has all the answers as he wins a hot shot point in their Shanghai clash Wednesday. Watch live matches at

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Getting To Know Stars Of The ATP World Tour

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2015

What does Andy Murray like to eat before a match? How does Kei Nishikori stay calm in tense moments? What would Novak Djokovic choose with three wishes? Find out more about the ATP World Tour stars. Watch live matches at

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Nadal On Right Track In Shanghai

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2015

Fresh from making his first hard-court final of the season last week in Beijing, Rafael Nadal has taken a novel route to beginning his Shanghai Rolex Masters campaign – by train. The Spaniard, runner-up here in 2009, will meet big-serving Ivo Karlovic in his first match since falling to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic last week and in a change from the usual jet-setting lifestyle on tour he opted to take the scenic path to China’s largest city.

“Some places (with) beautiful views, and very comfortable,” Nadal said of the journey. “It was the first time.  I wanted to do it last year but I couldn’t, so I did this year. I enjoyed it. If I play Beijing next year, I’m going to repeat the same trip because I like it.”

Currently at No. 6 in the Emirates ATP Race to London, a strong result this week would go a long way to sealing Nadal’s place in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and with few points to defend from the final months of last season he stands to finish an at times difficult year on a positive note.

“I only care about the possibility to finish the season with better feeling than what I had,” he said. “And I am on the way to doing it. I feel the last couple of months I was playing better than what the results say. I lost a couple of tough ones, like in the US Open, like in Cincinnati.  But I’m feeling better in general.

“One of the biggest problems that I had during the whole season, I was not able to control my emotions on court, something that I always had the right control of doing all my career.  The real thing is the last couple of months that is much better.  

“I feel almost under control again. That’s a very important step for me to, first of all, enjoy, and second thing, to have the possibility to practise and to compete at the level that I want.”

Nadal is relishing being able to train injury-free. “The last couple of months I am practising more than what I did last, let’s say, six, seven years,” he said.

Despite leading his ATP FedEx Head2Head with 6ft 11in Karlovic 4-0, the pair has not met since 2011. Nadal will be wary of the inroads the Croatian has made this season. “I expect the first very tough match against Karlovic,” he said. “I didn’t play semi-finals on hard-court until last week, this year. So I go day by day. “I’m happy the way that I am playing. Last week was a very positive week for me, playing better every day.”


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