Melzer stuns Nadal in Shanghai

Jurgen Melzer blew the draw wide open at the Shanghai Masters by inflicting a shock defeat on world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

The Austrian, who had never taken a set from Nadal before the match, clinched a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory in just shy of two hours on court.

For Nadal, defeat is a minor blip in a hugely successful year - but for Melzer, the win will be remembered as one of the greatest achievements of his career.

"I think the key was that I played the best tennis of my life," Melzer said. "I know when I go out there against Nadal that I have to be aggressive and hit my shots. I am very proud to have served it out."

Melzer, who has reached a career-high world ranking of No. 12, took the game to Nadal and was rewarded for his fearless approach. After dominating the first set - where he won 12 of 20 points on his opponent's first serve - Melzer was wobbled by a resurgent Nadal in the second.

The momentum seemed to have swung behind the all-conquering Spaniard, who was hunting down an eighth ATP Tour title of the year - but Melzer hadn't read the script, and he took a huge step towards victory with a break in the sixth game of the third frame.

It wasn't all plain sailing after that - he needed four match points before eventually sealing the victory - but the triumph, which boosts his hopes of a place at the ATP World Tour Finals, was a thoroughly deserved one. He now moves on to play Juan Monaco.

Earlier, Novak Djokovic sent an ominous message to the rest of the field by crushing Richard Gasquet, who required treatment from the trainer on a leg injury, 6-1 6-1in 58 minutes. In a totally one-sided contest, Djokovic continued his hot streak - he reached the final of the US Open and won in Beijing earlier this week - with five breaks. The Serb now moves onto play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who beat Tomas Berdych 7-6 6-3.


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