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Rafael Nadal vs. Stanislas Wawrinka: 2013 Shanghai Masters QF Preview
Reads: 1,655, Comments: 5
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Reads: 1,655, Comments: 5
Reigning French and US Open champion Rafael Nadal has been a Raging Bull throughout the year as he has ransacked almost all his opponents that have confronted him since his amazing return to action after a seven and a half month layoff from the sport due to a left knee injury. The Spanish Winning Machine has compiled a 67-4 record for the season thus far including 10 titles that feature 5 Masters-1000 trophies and 2 Grand Slams.
Bidding to become the first man to lift six Masters Crowns in a calendar year in Shanghai after his victories at Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, Montreal and Cincinnati, the 13 times Major champ opened his quest by routing the unpredictable Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round. In his next encounter he came across a motivated competitor in the form of Carlos Berlocq of Argentina who played an exceptional match to take the clash in a second set tiebreaker.
However, the man who thrives on adversity once again delivered the goods as he held firm when he had his back to the wall at 5-2 down in the breaker and eventually claimed a 6-1, 7-6 win with some jaw-dropping stuff from the baseline. No one saw that coming as the southpaw started off strongly by manufacturing a flawless display in the opening set to take it 6-1 with the assistance of 19 sensational winners. Nevertheless, the South American’s gallant effort in the subsequent set saw both players going neck-and-neck until the penultimate game of the showdown. In the shoot-out Nadal somehow managed to turn things around at a critical stage and went on to advance through to the last 8.
On the other hand, his rival Stanislas Wawrinka is having the best season of his career as he finds himself on the cusp of qualifying for the Season Ending ATP World Tour Finals for the first time in his life. Moreover, as his much decorated countryman Roger Federer made yet another early exit on Thursday, Stan’s stakes of finishing off the year as the Swiss No.1 have shot up considerably.
With so many incentives on offer, the Lausanne native would strive hard to reach Sunday’s showpiece final inside the Flower Stadium at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena. But to make it happen he will need to beat the man who has remained one of the biggest mysteries for him over the last seven years – superstar Rafa. Still, after making it through to his debut Slam semifinal in New York a couple of weeks ago and completely overpowering the Canadian Milos Raonic in the third round of the biggest tennis event in Asia yesterday, he would be pretty confident of putting up a big-hearted effort against Nadal on the day.
Nadal has simply owned his rivalry against Wawrinka as he has beaten him on all the 10 instances the two have met on the circuit. And, we expect him to stretch that record to 11-0 later tonight, even though Wawrinka may force him to work really hard in this match.
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