Rafael Nadal crashes out in Shanghai

Spanish great Rafael Nadal was sent crashing 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) by Viktor Troicki in a major shock in the Shanghai Masters' second round on Wednesday.

Rafael Nadal reacts after missig a point.   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal's fitful 2016 suffered another hit on Wednesday as he was dumped out of the Shanghai Masters by Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).


Former World No. 1 Nadal had targeted a strong showing at the ATP Masters 1000 event, admitting to being unsatisfied with his performance levels in the build-up to the tournament.

With a centre court crowd firmly at his back, Nadal's every minor success was met with roaring appreciation, but Serbia's Troicki had the gameplan to disrupt an opponent still rediscovering form after a wrist injury wrecked his French Open and Wimbledon.

Troicki took Nadal to the trenches on the Spaniard's serve, hanging back beyond the baseline and tempting the 'King of Clay' into battles of attrition.

Nadal initially had the stamina to hold off Troicki, but, unable to make any inroads in the Serbian's lightning-fast service games, he eventually cracked in game seven.

Troicki's scrambling took the game to deuce, when he was the beneficiary of a net cord, but the break point was converted in far from fortuitous manner, Troicki hurtling towards the right wing to send a stunner up the line and seize the initiative.

The first set was Troicki's after another show of grit on Nadal's serve, the left-hander going wide before Troicki manoeuvred his adversary neatly to find empty space on his left flank.

Nadal appeared back in the groove in the second set, conceding a solitary point in his first three service games, but new balls re-energised Troicki and he began asking serious questions of the 14-time grand slam winner.

Having held off Troicki in game eight, Nadal's next service game featured a wasted match point by his rival, opting against a volley when Nadal was out of position and finding the net off the ground.

Nadal's fans were in raucous mood again as their man forced a tie-break, but consecutive shots into the net gave Troicki immediate momentum and he pressed home his advantage, a string of booming forehands sealing an impressive triumph.

Murray marches on

Andy Murray continued his fine form with a convincing straight-sets triumph over Steve Johnson in the second round.

The Briton, who has set his sights on overhauling Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings, eased to a 6-3 6-2 triumph at the ATP 1000 event, which he has won twice.

Having claimed the China Open title at the weekend, Murray was straight back into the groove against Johnson, who applied some early pressure before fading against the man who beat him in the Olympic quarterfinals in Rio.

Murray faced break point in the opening game after his superlative defence was breached by a crushing Johnson forehand, but the World No. 2 held his nerve and serve.

Rain threatened to disrupt proceedings before the American served in the fourth game, in which he dug deep to draw level after trailling 30-40. The decisive moment came when Johnson missed a simple overhead and Murray roared ahead, breaking to love for a 4-2 lead when his opponent sent a wild forehand long.

Johnson had a lucky escape while serving to stay in the set as his racket slipped from his grasp and a distracted Murray put the return long, but it only delayed the inevitable. The second-set breakthrough came much more quickly as Johnson fell 5-1 down in the face of some stunning tennis from Murray, whose movement and craft were on another level.

With Johnson's challenge fading and his body language suggesting a comeback was well beyond his reach, Murray put the contest to bed to set up a third-round showdown with 13th seed Lucas Pouille.

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