The story appears on

Page A16

October 15, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Nadal survives but Del Potro retires

TOP seed Rafael Nadal marched into the last 16 of the Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 with a thoroughly entertaining 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 victory over American James Blake last night.

US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, however, joined the growing casualty list at the US$3.24-million tournament, retiring because of a wrist injury while 5-7, 1-2 down to Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

World No. 2 Nadal beat Blake in three sets on his way to the semifinals in Beijing last week and needed more than two hours at the Qizhong Tennis Center in suburban Minhang District last night to get past the man he rates as having one of the best returns in the game.

After Nadal raced away with the first set, the pair contested two absorbing sets filled with high-quality winners before Nadal, with Blake serving to take the match into a decisive tiebreak, unleashed a sizzling forehand to clinch victory.

"It's been a difficult year for me, so every victory is really important for me," said the Spaniard. "I thought I deserved to win the match because most of the time I think I played better than James."

Nadal has not reached a final since the Madrid Masters in May and will continue his comeback from knee and abdominal injuries against compatriot Tommy Robredo today.

Third seed Del Potro followed American fourth seed Andy Roddick in departing the tournament early through injury.

"I had this injury in Miami this year and I don't want to risk for the end of the season," said the 21-year-old Argentine. "I'm a little sorry. It's a big tournament here in Shanghai, but if I want to have a good finish this season, I have to recover."

With world No. 1 Roger Federer and No. 3 Andy Murray skipping the event because of fatigue and injury, respectively, Del Potro's departure is certain to intensify the debate over the length of the men's season.

"It's difficult to play 11 months at a high level but we know they are working on that, so we hope that there will be a good change for the future," said the world No. 5.

In-form second seed Novak Djokovic picked up where he left off in the final of the China Open on Sunday, notching up his 15th win in his last 17 matches with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Italian qualifier Fabio Fognini.

Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France took exactly an hour to dismiss Chinese wildcard Zeng Shaoxuan 6-3, 6-3 and set up a third-round clash with Swedish ninth seed Robin Soderling.

Croatian Ivan Ljubicic proved it was possible to play at the top level after 30, despite the gruelling schedule, by upsetting Spanish seventh seed Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Eighth seed Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, the 11th seed, ensured France would have three players in the third round when they beat Viktor Troicki and Lleyton Hewitt, respectively.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend