Nadal, Djokovic advance at Shanghai Masters

Updated: 15 October 2009 14:35 IST

Nadal celebrated an opening-round win in Grand Slam style Novak Djokovic moved through as the top two seeds reached the third round of the Shanghai Masters.

Nadal, Djokovic advance at Shanghai Masters

Hong Kong:

Rafael Nadal celebrated an opening-round win in Grand Slam style while Novak Djokovic moved through ruthlessly as the top two seeds reached the third round of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

Nadal, crushed in a Beijing semi-final by Marin Cilic four days ago, couldn't control his fist pumps and enthusiasm after getting back on track over James Blake 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4.

Second seed Djokovic, the Beijing champion, defeated Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-1.

It was the opposite story for third seed Juan Martin Del Potro as the US Open champion crashed for a second straight week in Asia.

The luckless Argentine fell to Jurgen Melzer due to wrist tendinitis, stopping to hand over a 7-5, 2-1 win.

"This event is very important for me, but if I want to have a good finish this season, I must go home to be in good shape for the last tournaments," said the 21-year-old, who was troubled by the problem in the spring and needed several weeks of rest.

"I dont think its something dangerous," he added.

In Tokyo last week, Del Potro had complained of feeling listless and unable to find his game. The symptoms were still there in Shanghai, his second and final date in Asia.

Nadal said that after his Beijing let-down, getting past Blake was cause for celebration.

"Every match is important for me now, this has been a difficult year for me," Nadal said.

"I had it under control, up a set and a break and playing really well. I was leading in the score but anything can happen at four-all in the third.

"I think I deserved to win this match."

Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon, both Asian event winners in recent weeks, won for France.

Fifth seed Tsonga put out China's Zeng Shao Xuan 6-3, 6-3 while number eight Simon stopped Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4 in a replay of the Bangkok final won by the Frenchman.

Sweden's Roland Garros finalist Robin Soderling bucked the losing trend as he reached the third round over Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-4, 7-5.

Former Shanghai champion Lleyton Hewitt couldn't get past unpredictable Gael Monfils as the French 11th seed knocked out the Australian 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Hewitt, titleholder in the city in 2002, when he won the season-ending Masters Cup, threw away a 2-0 lead in the final set against Monfils, winner of the Metz title last month.

Hewitt dropped six straight games to go out as he played the French youngster for the first time in two years.

Hewitt, 28, who underwent hip surgery in the 2008 summer, refused to join this week's controversy over whether the length of the 11-month ATP season contributed to player injuries.

"We're all human and we're going to get injured at times -- no one is Superman out there," said the number 23, who was outside the Top 100 earlier this season.

Czech Tomas Berdych drew fire from Marat Safin after a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 loss, with the retiring Russian saying his opponent had faked an injury.

"I was fooled by the great small shot he hit in the beginning of the second set where he pretended he was injured, and then all of a sudden he'll be running around and still playing normal," said Safin.

"It got me out of concentration, all of a sudden we start to run again. The third set just slipped away in the beginning. I came back but I lost track of the match. At four-all I didn't know how to play, how to find the game."

And the angry Safin had words for Berdych: "If you're losing, just be a man and lose as a man. Don't pretend that you are injured and then you start running around and start to hit winners.

"I mean, what kind of sportsman are you? What kind of man are you?"

Safin is on his last few weeks in the game, and is set to retire next month at Paris Bercy.



Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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