ATP Shanghai: Rafael Nadal reaches third round in style

The Spaniard continued his fine form from Beijing in his first match at the Masters 1000 event, dropping just three games in less than an hour against Jared Donaldson.

ATP Shanghai: Rafael Nadal reaches third round in style
Nadal dropped just three games as he reached the third round (Getty/Lintao Zhang)
Rafael Nadal
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Jared Donaldson

World number one Rafael Nadal’s quest for a maiden Shanghai Rolex Masters title began in incredible style earlier today, with the Spaniard dropping just three games as he stormed past Jared Donaldson in the second round.

Nadal, fresh off his victory at the China Open and having received a bye in the opening round in Shanghai due to being the top seed, started well against the American and continually improved throughout the encounter, dominating proceedings in a 6-2, 6-1 victory which took just 54 minutes. There was very little that Donaldson could do in his first ever meeting against the 16-time Grand Slam champion, with the American simply being outplayed.

Donaldson could do very little to stop Nadal charging into the third round (Getty/Xin Li)
Donaldson could do very little to stop Nadal charging into the third round (Getty/Xin Li)

It was undoubtedly an incredible performance by Nadal, who won over double the amount of points than the American did, as well as winning a staggering 93 percent of points when serving; he also did not face a single break point throughout. Unseeded Fabio Fognini awaits him in the third round, with a quarterfinal spot at stake.

Ruthless Nadal sends statement with crushing win

There is no doubt that Nadal was the huge favorite for this match and was expected by most people with some ease, though few could have predicted that the Spaniard would completely tear the American apart with one of his best performances on hard courts this year.

The match started fairly brightly, with Donaldson able to seemingly settle into the encounter by matching Nadal and holding his opening two service games. That would, however, be as good as it got for the American; Nadal, certainly buoyed by having won his past two hard court tournaments, broke for a 4-2 lead, and continued to put pressure on the American as he held to go a game away from the first set. Donaldson showed some signs of resistance in the opening set, saving six of eight break points he faced, though could not match Nadal as the Spaniard broke once again to seal the second set.

Nadal has now won his past 13 matches (Getty/Lintao Zhang)
Nadal has now won his past 13 matches (Getty/Lintao Zhang)

Nadal had dominated large parts of the first set but was in complete control throughout the second set as Donaldson continued to make no ground on the Spaniard. The American was able to hold his serve once early on, though that did not help him much as Nadal raced out to an incredibly decisive 4-1 lead. Brimming with confidence after some good wins recently, the Spaniard broke for the second time in the set to take a 5-1 lead, and showed no signs of nerves whatsoever as he comfortably sealed a dominant victory in his opening match of the tournament; he is now on a 13-match winning streak.