October 8, 2014
Rafa Nadal has vowed to play on until the end of the year, despite crashing out of the Shanghai Rolex Masters to Feliciano Lopez, still troubled by his appendix.
Lopez took his chance 6-3, 7-6 (6), even though Nadal seemed to have battled his way back into the match. Nadal led 5-3 in the second and even had a set point at 6-5 in the tie-break.
But he lacked the energy to close out and Lopez notched just his third victory over his fellow Spanish speaker in eleven-years.
It must be tempting for Nadal to take time out now and have his appendix out. So far he has opted for strong antibiotics to contain the problem. But a tennis court is no place for a player who isn’t fully fit, because top-quality opponents will find you out.
Rafa insists he can return to a more competitive level without rushing into an operation. He explained: ‘My thoughts are to continue with Basel, Paris and London. Now these three tournaments remain for me.’
Even so, he was feeling somewhat sorry for himself in the aftermath of the defeat to Lopez, and understandably so. Rafa added: ‘It’s true that in the last few months I haven’t had a lot of luck. I didn’t have the best of luck since Wimbledon. I was unlucky with the wrist and with what is going on now. ‘
‘For sure I didn’t feel perfect out there [against Lopez], it’s the same way I felt before. A little bit more dizzy now.
‘Nothing that I have to worry about. I lost. Feli played better than me.’
Meanwhile Roger Federer was almost another superstar casualty in Shanghai. He saved five match points against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, despite winning the first set 7-5. He lost the second set 3-6 and was 4-5, 15-40 behind in the decider. The ribbon saved Federer first time around, then a powerful forehand got him out of jail.
Federer had saved two match points in a classic encounter against Gael Monfils at the US Open and managed to bring out his Houdini act yet again. This time he even increased its impact. Federer saved three more match points in a dramatic third-set tie-break, which he finally won 9-7.