A day after deciding to take antibiotics and play through a bout of appendicitis rather than opt for surgery, second-ranked Spaniard Rafael Nadal saw his Shangai Masters tournament run come to an end at the hands of his fellow countryman Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
The two took to the court late Wednesday night local time as Lopez quickly pounced on the ailing Nadal. He cruised to a 6-3 opening set win, and then fought back from 3-5 down in the second frame, eventually taking it in a tie-breaker.
“For sure [I don’t feel] perfect,” said Nadal. “It’s the same way that I felt before. A little bit more dizzy now. But that’s it. Nothing that I have to worry about. When you lose a match, it is not the moment to talk about obvious things. I lost. Feli played better than me.”
The 6-3, 7-6(6) win was just the third for Lopez versus Nadal in over 11 years. He ripped 15 aces and had his serve broken just once as he knocked off the ailing Nadal in one hour and 44 minutes. Nadal had just 18 winners to 27 unforced errors.
Lopez moves on and will meet American John Isner in the second round.
Kei Nishikori carried a nine-match winning streak into his second-round match with Jack Sock, but the American ended that streak and notched his first career top 10 win as he upended Nishikori 7-6(5), 6-4.
Sock’s serve was too much for the seventh-seeded Nishikori to deal with. He ripped 13 aces and won 80 percent of his service points.
Fatigue might have played a big factor for Nishikori who has been busy these last few weeks. He won titles in Kuala Lumpar and Tokyo, both of those tournaments coming just weeks after his long run to the US Open final.
“I will go back to the States, try to get my body fresh again,” said Nishikori, who would have qualified for London with a title this week. “I’ve been playing a lot of tennis since the US Open. So try to recover well. I have two more tournaments coming up. I hope I can make London.”
He currently sits fifth in the Race to London standings. The person who sits above him in the standings, Stan Wawrinka, was dealt the same fate as Nishikori on Wednesday as the fourth-seeded Swiss dropped a three-setter to Gilles Simon of France.
Simon ousted the Australian Open champion 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. Wawrinka held a 3-0 lead in the final set before squandering a break advantage and eventually the match.
“I was playing good. I did two stupid games I will say at 3-0,” said Wawrinka. “I had the wind with me, I did some bad mistakes. I was rushing a little bit."
Wawrinka lost his opening round match last week in Tokyo, and the back-to-back early exits have out his London qualifying hopes on hold.
Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic rounded out the top 10 players to lose on Wednesday. Raonic retired from his match down 2-5 in the opening set, while Dimitrov fell in straight sets to Julien Benneteau 5-7, 3-6.