ANDY MURRAY overcame a late hiccup to reach the Shanghai Masters second round and world No 553 Wang Chuhan caused a major shock when he knocked out 15th seed Fabio Fognini in straight sets on his ATP World Tour debut.
Murray, ninth in the race to London as he seeks to break into the elite top eight who will play in the season-ending ATP Finals in November, overcame Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-1, 7-5.
The Scot broke his opponent three times to run away with the first set but was broken twice in the second and had to dig deep to avoid a decider and set up a second-round clash with Jerzy Janowicz.
“I started the match well, he wasn’t in much of a rhythm at the beginning,” said Murray, who was 3-5 down in the second set before reeling off the last four games.
“I was dictating a lot of the points. I was using good variety. At the beginning of the second set, I played a sloppy game on my serve. He gained some confidence from that and started playing better.
“I just had to find a way to get through in the end. I used smart tactics at the end of the set. I started using the variety again. It was a good start for me, but some work to be done,” said Murray who ended a 15-month title drought at the Shenzen Open last month.
Chinese wildcard Wang, who mainly plays in Challenger or Futures tournaments, recorded a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 first-round win over Italian Fognini on the Grandstand court to huge cheers from the shocked home crowd.
The 22-year-old showed few nerves as he continued to pound aggressively for the lines against a flat Fognini, who offered little in the closing stages of the match and seemed happy to get off court as quickly as possible.
“I wanted to win this match, but I never actually thought I could do it,” said Wang who secured victory over the world No 17 with a stunning backhand winner down the line before turning to his coaching team with a shocked expression and clenched fists. “I practised with him in Beijing, so I knew a bit about him. And my coach used to be in the ATP circle, so he also told me something about Fabio’s weaknesses.”
Mikhail Youzhny also caused an upset, beating 12th seed Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 6-1. The Russian, who converted three of his four break points and dropped just ten points on serve, next meets Ivan Dodig, who beat Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 6-2.
Canadian Vasek Pospisil edged out Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 and takes on 14th seed Roberto Bautista in the second round.
Feliciano Lopez fired 19 aces to overcome qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-7 (12-14), 6-3, 6-4 and set up an all-Spanish second round clash with world
No 2 Rafa Nadal.
Nadal will play this week despite being diagnosed with appendicitis which will require surgery. The Spaniard went to hospital on Sunday after complaining of stomach pains and was given antibiotics which seem to have worked as the 28-year-old, after two days of resting in his hotel room, had a 45-minute practice at the Qizhong Tennis Centre.
“I was in the hospital on Sunday,” said Nadal. “Yesterday the nurse came to my room to give me the treatment again. Today I was at the hospital in the morning again. I had again the antibiotics. It seems like everything is under control now. But obviously I am not in my best condition. The positive thing is I am feeling better today than yesterday.”
Nadal said he would consult his doctors back in Mallorca before deciding when to remove his appendix.