By Erik Gudris / Tuesday, October 8, 2013
In the race for the ATP Finals in London, Canada's Vasek Pospisil helped out his fellow Davis Cup teammate Milos Raonic by knocking out Richard Gasquet in Shanghai.
Photo Credit: AP
It was "Red Maple Leaf" day in Shanghai as one Canadian player helped out another in the opening round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Canada's Vasek Pospisil, who reached the Montreal finals earlier this summer, pulled off the first big upset of the tournament. With blazing winners from all sides of the court, Pospisil knocked out No. 9 seed Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4 in just 70 minutes. It's the second top 10 win of the season for Pospisil, who also beat Tomas Berdych back in Montreal.
The loss by Gasquet puts a dent in his chances to qualify for the upcoming ATP World Tour Finals in London. The Frenchman, who last week reached the Beijing semis, was hoping to add more points as he currently trails in ninth place in the race to London.
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Gasquet's early exit also helps Roger Federer, who is also in the hunt to qualify for London. Federer will open up his Shanghai campaign versus Italy's Andreas Seppi. Seppi knocked out veteran Lleyton Hewitt earlier 6-4, 6-2.
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Raonic Gets Off to Good Start in Shanghai
Another man helped by Pospisil's upset win is his fellow Canadian Davis Cup teammate Milos Raonic. Fresh off of his run to last week's Tokyo finals, Raonic is also bidding to qualify for the eight-man London event.
Raonic easily took care of Polish qualifier Michal Przysiezny 6-4, 6-4 in their opening round match. Raonic, who trails Gasquet in 10th place in the points race for London, will now look to build on his momentum this week.
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Other results included Benoit Paire upsetting No. 13 seed and fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3. No. 12 seed Kei Nishikori beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4.
On Wednesday Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will start their week in Shanghai with opening round matches.
Follow Erik Gudris on Twitter @ATNtennis