Shanghai | Rune and Zverev head seeded losses in R2

With the first round completed the big guns at the Rolex Shanghai Masters joined the eighth Masters 1000 event of the season, being held for the first time in three years at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre in Shanghai, China, with six of them in the bottom half of the draw, crashing out at their first appearance.

Leading the way was Holge Rune, the young Dane ranked five and seeded three, who never settled as he crashed out surprisingly in 69-minutes, 6-0 6-2.

The crowd was hoping for a better match and tried to lift the 20-year-old an provide them with a better spectacle but his opponent, the 22-year-old Brandon Nakashima of the US, ranked 122, maintained control throughout.

“I had to play my best tennis to pull through,” Nakashima said after the match giving his opponent more credit than the result merited.

“(Rune) is a player who has been at the top of the game for a while, so I know against him it’s going to be tough every time.”

Also out is the world number 10 Alexander Zverev who was overpowered by the 50th-ranked Roman Safiullin, a 26-year-old from Russia, who exacted revenge on the German for defeating him in the final of the Chengdu Open last month, thereby preventing him collecting his first title on the ATP Tour.

Roman Safiullin shakes hands with Alexander Zverev after defeating the German in round two

(Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images)

Then Zverev recovered from a tight first set but this time, like Rune earlier in the day, he just couldn’t raise his game to make a match of it going down 6-3 6-1 after 74-minutes.

“I would say (I had) a very good performance today,” Safiullin said after the match, adding he had studied the “many mistakes” he had made in the Chengdu final to avoid making them again.

The 11th seeded Australian, Alex de Minaur joined the now growing list of falling seeds crashing out to the Hungarian ranked 91, Fabian Marozsan, 6-3 7-5 after 85-minutes.

Hungary claimed another top-20 scalp later in the afternoon, when 31-year-old Marton Fucsovics beat the world number 15, seeded 14, the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3

Fucsovics, ranked 57, tore his shirt off with a roar following the tightly fought match that lasted almost three-and-a-half hours.

Qualifier Yu Hsiou Hsu meanwhile, dismissed the world number 18, the Italian seeded 17, Lorenzo Musetti, 6-3 6-4 in just 84-minutes and Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic benefited after 62-minutes, from the retirement with an illness, of the 23rd seed, Dutchman, Tallon Griekspoor, with the score standing at 6-4 3-2 in his favour.

Casper Ruud opens his campaign successfully.

(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

On a more positive note, the Norwegian Casper Ruud, seeded 8, cruised through to the next round by easily dispatching Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-0 in 74-minutes while 26-year-old Zhang Zhizhen made history in his hometown by becoming the first Chinese player to reach the third round of the tournament with a nail-biting three-set win over Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

Before a bellowing partisan crowd, Zhang recovered from a first-set loss to prevail after 2-hours and 27-minutes. 4-6 6-3 6-4.

American Sebastian Korda, the 26th seed and last week’s finalist at the Astana Open, progressed past Chinese wildcard Yunchaokete Bu 6-1 6-4.



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