Shanghai Masters: Rafael Nadal With Vintage Display To Knockout Stan Wawrinka

Shanghai Masters: Rafael Nadal With Vintage Display To Knockout Stan Wawrinka

The Spaniard only conceded three games to the world number four en route to the semifinals.

Noel John Alberto

Rafael Nadal came back with a bit of swagger with him in his quarterfinal meeting against Stan Wawrinka. After two high-quality wins against difficult opposition, the Spaniard came out guns a blazin' and put on a devastating beatdown to the Swiss number two taking the match 6-2, 6-1. With the win, the world number seven has avenged his last two losses over the world number four with the most recent one coming on clay at the Rome Masters.

Vintage Nadal With An Opening Set Beatdown

Wawrinka was the slight favorite coming into the match having taken the last two over Nadal and having the better season and hard court season overall. However, Nadal was determined to once again to prove the doubters wrong. The players came out in stellar fashion early on as at one-all, 15-all, both men were getting one another on the move, but it was Wawrinka who opened up the Spaniard with a cross-court backhand before finishing off with a deadly blow down the line.

The Swiss was forced to save an early break chance on his first service game, but he could not escape the punishing groundstrokes of Nadal in the sixth game. At 15-30, the eight seed unloaded on a huge cross-court backhand forcing Wawrinka to take a stab at it just to get it over which Nadal coolly volleyed home for two break chances. He only needed one though to take the break.

After a quick hold at 15 to consolidate, Nadal was back at it again as he continued to punish the error-filled Wawrinka. He opened up yet another 15-40 lead for two break points but needed the third one to take the game and the set 6-2.

The Spaniard Continues To “Bully” Wawrinka

Nadal began the second set with a hold of serve and picked up right where he left off with two more break opportunities after Wawrinka double faulted. The eight seed sent a backhand return long on his first chance but converted the second as this year’s French Open champion sent a backhand long.

Wawrinka hoped to pick up the break right back as he raced to a 0-30 lead on Nadal’s next service game. Two strong serves down the tee, a long return and an ace, leveled the game up once again. The Swiss earned a break point but sent his backhand down the line well wide, and he would rue that missed opportunity as a backhand winner from the Spaniard would make it 3-0.

The two-time Grand Slam champion continued to uncharacteristically misfire often on his groundstrokes. After his major turnaround in 2013, the Swiss looked average once again as Nadal broke for 4-0 off of multiple unforced errors from his opponent.

Nadal held for 5-0 and nearly bageled the Swiss after rallying from 40-15 down to force two deuces. The Spaniard settled for a breadstick on Wawrinka’s scorecard as he held without any problems to close out the match. Nadal now faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a spot in the final after the Frenchman defeated Kevin Anderson in three tight sets.