Rafael Nadal Ousted by Lopez in Shanghai! Loses World No.2 to Federer!


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Rafael Nadal Ousted by Lopez in Shanghai! Loses World No.2 to Federer!

The appendicitis ended up being more than just a name and couple of worries. It became a real thing, something that forced Rafael Nadal to perform below par at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, losing in his debut match and soon after giving up his No.2 spot in favor of eternal rival Roger Federer (who won against Mayer saving 5 match points, the report here).

Slow in the movement, hitting just slightly further than the middle of the court, Nadal allowed his lefty rival - another lefty after losing to Martin Klizan in Beijing - to take control of the rallies and stay aggressive throughout the whole match, facilitated in the operation by Nadal's lack of brilliance.

The first set was controlled by Lopez, won by 6 games to 3, after the World No.21 broke his compatriot first. A forehand long hit by Nadal allowed Lopez with the set, with Rafael managing to win only 5 points on Feliciano's serving games.

The second set told a different story. Nadal found his better tennis back, started to move better and finally managed to take control of the rallies with his forehand, keeping down the number of unforced errors. A 5-2 lead from Nadal wasn't enough to seal the set.

Lopez roared back to win 3 games in a row, and then the two held serves to drag the set into a deciding tiebreak. It was Nadal who gained the early lead first in the tiebreak, up 4-2. Rafael also had a set point, when Lopez hit a terrible double fault when the score was tied at 5-5.

It wasn't enough again.