It was another day of utter domination from the world number one Djokovic as he defeated Klizan 6-2, 6-1. He is just picking up in Shanghai where he left off in Beijing and he will be awfully hard to stop from winning a record third Shanghai title. Long way to go, though. He now plays Lopez who defeated Thiem 6-7(4), 7-6(6), 6-3 for the first time in four meetings. The head-to-head is 6-0 in the Djoker’s favor so the odds are stacked against Lopez.
Then Nadal continued his upward trend as he ground out a tough 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(4) victory over serve bot Karlovic. Nadal started poorly by dropping his opening service game after failing to challenge a serve that was an ace but got called out. Then he served a double fault. However, with Karlovic serving for the first set at 5-4 Nadal played a blistering return game to break Karlovic back to 15.
He also broke serve at 6-5 with another impressive return game to win the opening set. Karlovic fought back but in the final set tie-break he choked exactly as I expected by serving a double fault at 4-4. Nadal just mentally too clutch while Karlovic is too fragile. Nadal is starting to look much more like the old Nadal and this was another very good win which proves to me that what I said about his Beijing form was accurate.
He now plays against another serve bot in Raonic and he will need to be equally clutch if he is to prevail again. His returns and passing shots seem to be much improved anyway and Karlovic would have been the ideal practice for him before Raonic. I never thought this day would come, but I actually want Nadal to keep improving. The Djokerer rivalry has gone stale for the moment and a change is needed.
- Elsewhere in the Draw
Then Murray had a routine 6-2, 6-4 victory over Johnson and in doing so started opening the gap between him and Federer in the rankings some more. He now plays Isner who he leads 4-0 in the head-to-head. In one of the more anticipated matches of the day Nishikori defeated Kyrgios 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 and now plays Anderson who defeated Fognini. Stan also won which means he now plays Cilic which will be one of the most anticipated matches tomorrow.
The other match which I think will be the best of tomorrow is Nadal vs Raonic. And the winner of those two matches plays each other in the quarterfinals. I’d love to see Stan vs Nadal with both playing close to their best. So there are plenty of good matches to look forward to again tomorrow including Tsonga against Ramos-Vinolas who defeated Federer. Will Ramos-Vinolas continue to impress or was he just a flash in the pan?
The is in your court.