Roddick hurt by Shanghai jinx
After being gifted a match in the first round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters when Germany's Phillip Kohlschreiber was forced to retire with an undisclosed injury, American Andy Roddick was sympathetic towards his stricken opponent. 'We've all been on the bad side of having to pull out of a match,' he said. 'It's not fun.'
Less than 24 hours later he showed how little fun it was when he was forced to retire in the second set against Spainard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. After a commanding 6-3 romp in set one, Roddick was treated for a groin strain in the second set at 2-2. Despite a valiant effort, he could no longer continue and for the second year in a row an injury prematurely shanghaied his tournament.
'It's frustrating,' said Roddick. 'The first two rounds here I felt like I was hitting the ball great. You know, it's really tough to get hurt and tougher to get hurt up a set and a break.'
Rain again wreaked havoc on the schedule and organisers were scrambling to get all second round matches played. But with the roof closed on centre court it was business as usual for the top seeds as world number two Novak Djokovic managed to dispose of Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, 6-3, 6-3.
'He's a big server, he relies on that part in his game,' Djokovic said. 'When he needed to, he served well. But generally I neutralised his serve, which was very important today. I was looking for my chance in the rallies. I played well.'
Scotland's Andy Murray played grinch to the home crowd when he dispatched China's Lai Bin 6-2, 6-2. Ranked number 465 in the world, the youngster from Nanjing was playing only his third career match at the ATP level and struggled throughout with Murray's serves and powerful ground strokes.
'For a certain period, I think I gave him some pressure,' said Bai through a translator. 'But he's very strong. When I had opportunities, he showed me his aggressiveness.'
Murray was still impressed with the youngster. 'I thought he was good,' he said. 'I guess he will be inside 400 after this week and he hasn't played many tournaments. If he was from the UK, I'm sure we would be very, very excited about him.'
Despite the crowd's obvious affection for Bai, it was clear who they came to see and world number one Rafael Nadal did not disappoint.
A game Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland eventually succumbed 6-4, 6-4 to Nadal. Twice Wawrinka was on the verge of breaking Nadal's serve, only to have the Spaniard defiantly beat him back.
Nadal was quick to dampen talk of a possible final with Roger Federer. 'Every tournament we get asked this question,' said a smiling Nadal. 'But the best players in the world are here and there is so much tennis to be played before we can think about match-ups in the finals.'