By Chris Oddo, Friday, October 11, 2013
Poor Stan Wawrinka. The guy has never won a set against Rafael Nadal in eleven career matches, and it's because Nadal keeps hitting ridiculous shots like the running topspin forehand lob seen above to keep Wawrinka at bay. Last night in Shanghai Wawrinka had four set points--two in the 12th game and two in the tiebreaker--but each time Nadal found what he needed to keep his run of perfection alive against Wawrinka.
Shanghai: Djokovic Masters Monfils, Nadal Denies Wawrinka
Nadal has now won all 24 sets he has played against the World No. 8, but last night's 75-minute opening set, which featured a hair-raising 23-minute tiebreaker, may have been the sternest challenge that Nadal has seen from Wawrinka yet. It isn't, however, the first time that Wawrinka pushed Nadal in the opening set. The Swiss played a 26-point tiebreaker with Nadal in the first set of their third-round battle at the Canadian Masters in 2010, with the Spaniard prevailing and taking the second set 6-3.
Nadal will fade Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals at Shanghai on Saturday. The Spaniard is bidding to become the first man in ATP history to win six Masters 1000 titles a single season.