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Nadal vows to recapture form

By Agence France-Presse in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2016-10-14 07:31

Andy Murray rose above a day of chaos at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday as Rafael Nadal fell at the first hurdle and Nick Kyrgios melted down in spectacular fashion.

Murray, seeking to wrest the world No 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic by the year's end, breezed past Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round.

It was a very different story for Nadal, who departed grim-faced and with his ardent fans in tears after a stunning 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) loss to Viktor Troicki.

Fans brandished photos of Nadal - including one of him in his underwear - but they looked on in dismay as the 14-time Grand Slam champion never got his game on track.

Afterwards Nadal, now 30 and battling a host of injuries, vowed to return to top form by next season, mainly by putting the zip back in his forehand and movement.

"I know what I have to do and I'm going to do it," said the Spaniard, who has had little to smile about at the big tournaments this year.

"I've got about 10 weeks until next season starts, so I have that long to put myself at the level I want to be. And I'm confident I'm going to be able to do it."

Meanwhile, Australia's Kyrgios lashed out at fans and insisted "I don't owe them anything" after he was repeatedly booed in a straight-sets loss to Mischa Zverev.

Kyrgios is known for his poor behaviour on court.

Last year he received a suspended one-month ban for making a lewd and personal comment during a match with Stan Wawrinka.

Wawrinka advanced on Wednesday with minimal fuss as the US Open champion mastered Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round.

In other action, Milos Raonic beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-4, but seventh seed Tomas Berdych tumbled 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/1) to Marcel Granollers.

Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil upset Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (7/2), David Goffin beat Benoit Paire 6-1, 7-6 (7/0) and Gilles Simon ousted Chinese wild card Wu Di 6-2, 6-2.

Wu lobbies for foreign experience

Wu Di, China's No 1 player, urged the nation's tennis authorities to send players abroad to gain experience after he went tumbling out of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

The wild card's 6-2, 6-2 loss to Gilles Simon in round two ended local interest in the tournament as China's long wait for success in the men's game goes on.

Li Na won two women's Grand Slam titles, prompting rapid growth in the sport in China, before retiring in 2014. But China's men have yet to make an impact.

Wu, the nation's highest ranked male at No 182, said the country needs to look to the US or Europe rather than trying to develop players at home.

"There are many promising young players in China," said Wu, fielding familiar questions after his latest flop on home soil.

"I think they need to work out and need to practice or play some matches in the US and Europe, which will be more helpful for them.

"There are just so many players here in China. It's a small pool. So what you can do? You can only practice within this small circle."

Li's runaway success came after she made the tough and controversial decision to split from China's state sporting system and go it alone with her own coaching set-up.

Wu and China's No 2, 197th-ranked Zhang Ze, are the country's standard-bearers but Wu said they needed regular practice against tougher opposition.

"Me and Zhang Ze, we are still very young, 25 and 26. We are still actually relatively young players," he said.

"We have appeared a couple of times so people think we are veterans, but really we are young.

"We need to get national team support and go abroad."


 Nadal vows to recapture form

Rafael Nadal exits after losing his opening match to Viktor Troicki at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday. Xinhua

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