SHANGHAI (dpa) – Novak Djokovic continued his Chinese domination for a 26th straight match win as the top seed reached the third round of the Shanghai Masters 6-3, 6-4 over Dominic Thiem on Wednesday.
But second seed Rafael Nadal, playing despite appendicitis, went out 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) in a Spanish duel with Feliciano Lopez.
Nadal came to the China after three months of wrist injuries saying he didn’t expect much and didn’t disappoint as he lost in one and three-quarter hours as Lopez hammered 15 aces.
Nadal has said he will consult Spanish doctors to determine if his health problems needs surgery or can be cured with antibiotics.
Djokovic, who won his fifth trophy of the year in Beijing at the weekend, claimed back-to-back Shanghai titles in 2012-2013.
It took the Serb just 88 minutes to claim his 50th win of the year and advance over 21-year-old Austrian Thiem, who saved six of eight break points in defeat.
Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka found his qualification for the year-end finals in London again delayed after losing his second straight match in Asia 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 to France’s Gilles Simon.
Wawrinka heads back to Europe after a fruitless trip to the East after leading 3-0 in the final set of the second-round encounter.
Spanish fifth seed David Ferrer won his first match since late August at the US Open, out-duelling Slovak Martin Klizan 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Ferrer currently stands 10th in the race to the season wrap-up from November 9 after losing in the opening round at both Shenzhen and Tokyo. He pulled it together against Klizan – who beat Rafael Nadal in Beijing – in two and a half hours.
Simon reached the Tokyo semi-finals last weekend, losing to Milos Raonic. He next plays Tunisian qualifier Malek Jaziri, who defeated Chuhan Wang 6-0, 6-4.
American Jack Sock, the Wimbledon doubles champion, upset seventh seed Kei Nishikori, ending the US Open finalist’s run of Asian form which had taken him to Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo titles over the past fortnight.