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Wu serves up some cheer

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-11 07:58

Wu Di gave anxious Chinese fans some relief on Monday night as he advanced to the second round of the Shanghai Masters - for just the second time - with a stunning 7-6 (2), 6-2 victory over Jeremy Chardy of France.

After Chardy's compatriot Gilles Simon beat 17-year-old Wu Yibing in the Hangzhou sensation's Masters debut on Sunday, the home crowd was hoping for some good news - and Wu Di duly delivered.

The match began evenly with both players blasting strong serves in the opening set, and no break chances for either.

Wu serves up some cheer

China's Wu Di hits a return to Jeremy Chardy of France during their Shanghai Masters first-round match at Qizhong Tennis Center on Monday. Wu surprised Chardy 7-6 (2), 6-2. Ding Ting / Xinhua

Wu then won the tie-break 7-2 in front of a raucous crowd at Qizhong Tennis Center in the suburban Minhang District, firing seven aces to Chardy's four.

Wu broke Chardy in his first service game after the Frenchman committed two double faults. Both players held their serve before Wu broke Chardy again in the seventh game to take a 5-2 lead.

He then sealed the win on his first match point.

"I didn't think too much coming into the match," Wu said. "I was even a bit surprised clinching match point. It felt like a dream. I served well ... but I think I used up all my ace quota for this year."

Wu, who will face either Steve Johnson and Nick Kyrgios in the second round, has taken part in every edition of the Shanghai tournament since 2009. His previous best was beating Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas in the first round last year.

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro needed all three sets to reach the second round, beating qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Del Potro, a Shanghai semifinalist in 2013, struggled with his second serve. Although he won 40 of 49 points on his first serve, he only captured 13 of 30 second-serve points.

American qualifier Frances Tiafoe also advanced by beating Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4. The 92nd-ranked Tiafoe was playing in his first main draw match since a five-set loss to Roger Federer at the US Open.

Tiafoe will play either 10th-seeded Sam Querrey or Yuichi Sugita in the second round.

South Korea's Chung Hyeon moved on, defeating ninth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3. Chung saved all four break points he faced against last year's finalist.

"Today, I was trying to stay calm all the time in the match," said Chung, who only won one game when he played Bautista Agut in Dubai in 2016. "I won today so I did everything good."

Feliciano Lopez advanced by beating Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (1), 7-6 (6), while Andrey Rublev and qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas also made it through.

Federer, who won the title in Shanghai in 2004, will play his opening match on Wednesday.

The Australian Open and Wimbledon champion hasn't played at an official tournament since losing in the US Open quarterfinals in August.

"I'm playing just the big tournaments now," Federer said.

"I've been practicing for hours on the Center Court. I'm here for a purpose - to do well and win the tournament."

China Daily - AP

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