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2016 Shanghai Masters: Andy Murray vs. Steve Johnson


10-13-2016 10:55 BJT

To tennis and the second round of the Shanghai Masters where one of the most popular players took to the court as fourth seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal faced off against Viktor Troicki of Serbia. A week ago, Rafa was elminated by a resurgent Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals of the China Open, and the former World No.1 was hoping to make a deeper run here in order to help secure his spot in the year-ending Tour Finals.

Troicki in white shirt had not beaten Nadal in five previous attempts, but the world number 31 now has set point in the first, and the forehand winner seals it 6-3.

Rafa does what he can to come back in the second and it's still on serve here in the eighth game with the Spanirad trailing 4-3. The 14 time grand slam winner starts raining down forehands trying to pummel the Serb into submission with his power, but Troiki hangs on, so now it's time for the smash treatment. Troiki returns the first, but Nadal makes sure of the second before unleashing a big "Come on!" and customary uppercut.

But all to no avail as Troiki's return winner completes the upset in a tiebreaker. Nadal's place in the Tour Finals is now is jeopardy while Troiki is moving on to face Roberto Bautista Agut in the 3rd round.

"I played better than in Beijing but was not the day to win. He played better than me to win more than me. I need to keep working, I need to adjust things and to put the things together and I need to be confident again, no? I need to play more matches and to practice more and just keep playing," said Rafa.

2nd-seeded Briton faces Pouille in 3rd Round 

Also on Wednesday, Andy Murray in the black shirt took on American Steve Johnson in the second round. The newly crowned China Open champion is now leading 5-2 and the second seeded Scot runs down this drops shot, earning some applause from SIPG coach Sven Goran Eriksson and his players.


Britain's Andy Murray returns a shot during the second round singles match against Steve Johnson of the United States at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 12, 2016. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

Murray now has set point, and he sends a serve out wide and then follows a backhand to the net to wrong foot Johnson with a tight volley, tkaing the frame 6-3.

The second would be similar and Murray now has match point leading 5-2. He's got Johnson on the bakc foot and a simple tap a t the net is enough to seal the victory, a clinical straight sets win that sets up a thrid round match agaisnt France's Lucas Pouille.

Canadian upsets China Open runner-up in second round

And the China Open runner-up, Grigor Dimitrov, at the top of your screen, was up against Canada's Vasek Pospisil for a spot in the third round. Like his Bulgarian opponent, Pospisil has struggled in singles this season, but he shows signs of improvement here with a deft drop shot en route to taking the first set 7-5.

The second would be just as close and Pospisil now has a chance to take a 6-5 lead. The Canadian is a big server and he drilsl one past Dimitrov and straight into a ball boy. Ouch. That would probably be my reaction too after getting pinged by a ball travelling 200 kilometers per hour. The players quickly realize what's happened and the game is put on hold as Dimitorv goes over to check on the young lad and gives him his sweat band as a souvenir. Here's a look at the serve which Dimitorv doesn't touh leaving the boy's stomach to absorb the full force. But he toughs it out to stay at his post.

The set goes to a tiebreaker and Dimitrov attacks the corner, but Pospisil replies with a fantastic forehand passing shot which the crowd and maybe even the ball boy heartily acknowledge.

On match point, Dimitrov's return is long as Pospisil completes the upset. His reward is Novak Djokovic in the third round.

In other matches, Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-4. Belgian David Goffin eliminated Benoit Paire in two sets and Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios completely tanked his match against Mischa Zverev who prevailed 6-3, 6-1

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