• Nadal opens in Shanghai with a shot at Garcia-Lopez

    10/11/11 4:07 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal opens in Shanghai with a shot at Garcia-Lopez Rafael Nadal will begin his week in Shanghai during second-round action on Wednesday. Right away, Nadal gets a chance to avenge a 2010 loss to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    The last meeting between Rafael Nadal and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez won't soon be forgotten, at least not with a rematch on the immediate horizon.

    Nadal and Garcia-Lopez faced each other most recently in the 2010 Bangkok semifinals. Garcia-Lopez not only pulled off a shocking upset, but he did it in especially improbable fashion. The underdog saved a ridiculous 24 of 26 break points--including 18 of 18 over the final two sets--en route to a 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 victory. In the span of just three service games to begin the second set, Garcia-Lopez fought off 16 break points.

    Overall, however, Nadal leads their head-to-head series at the ATP level 2-1. He prevailed 6-1, 6-4 six years ago in Valencia and rolled 6-3, 6-2 a few months later to open the 2006 season in Chennai.

    Match number four between the two Spaniards is on tap for Wednesday in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Nadal, of course, is a huge favorite and he is showing the kind of the form that will lead him to revenge. The top-seeded Spaniard is 12-2 since the start of the U.S. Open, with his only losses coming to on-fire opponents Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in a pair of finals.

    Garcia-Lopez, on the other hand, is just 18-24 for his 2011 campaign. His ranking has plunged to No. 53 in the world in the wake of Bangkok champion's points coming off the board (he lost his opener this year to Donald Young). Garcia-Lopez followed up the Bangkok loss with a first-round exit last week in Tokyo, but he avenged two recent losses to Somdev Devvarman with a 6-4, 6-3 win on Monday.

    As last season's Bagkok result indicates, Garcia-Lopez is a streaky player who can get hot at any moment. Current form, though, tilts heavily in Nadal's favor. Furthermore, the world No. 2 will be eager to bounce back from getting humiliated by Murray in a 6-0 third set on Sunday in Tokyo.

    Count on Nadal cruising in straight sets.

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funny headline for this article :)

croc , 10/11/11 7:13 PM

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 10/11/11 7:31 PM

Good luck for tomorrow Rafa - Vamos .............

schatz , 10/11/11 8:18 PM

Last year was one of those fluke losses that Rafa has this time of year. He will not let it happen again. I expect him to be ready and to win this easily.

Nativenewyorker , 10/11/11 8:40 PM

croc - agreed

nadline and schatz - agreed

Nativenewyorker - agreed

RickyDimon , 10/11/11 8:59 PM

GGL must have something special against Nadal when saving BP. He saved 8/9 in the first set.

bleck , 10/12/11 2:38 PM

and 3/3 in his first service game

RickyDimon , 10/12/11 2:53 PM

Rafa wins - 63 62.

nadline , 10/12/11 3:32 PM

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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