Nadal loses in Shanghai

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:55 AM ET

SHANGHAI -- World No. 1 Rafael Nadal was a stunning third-round loser, while former top-ranked star Roger Federer and U.S. Open runner-up Novak Djokovic secured quarterfinal berths at the $5.25 million Shanghai Masters tennis event.

Nadal was ousted by 13th-seeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer in 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 fashion on the hardcourts at Qizhong Tennis Center. The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open titlist Nadal was fresh off his title in Tokyo last week.

The nine-time major champion Nadal and Melzer held serve in the final set until the fifth game, when Nadal struck a forehand long and swatted another one wide to give Melzer his third break of the night. Nadal staved off three match points, on his serve, but Melzer held in the ninth game for the biggest win of his career.

Melzer toppled the high-flying Nadal in just under two hours by uncorking 14 aces and tallying three times as many service breaks (3-1). The Austrian had been 0-3 lifetime and had never taken a set off the mighty Spaniard, who failed to reach a quarterfinal for the first time this year.

The 24-year-old Nadal was upset by Russian Nikolay Davydenko in last year's inaugural Shanghai Masters finale.

Meanwhile, the second-seeded Djokovic stayed red-hot with a 6-1, 6-1 58-minute spanking of Richard Gasquet, while the third-seeded Federer handled Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 in 74 minutes on Day 5. Djokovic, who gave way to Nadal in last month's U.S. Open title tilt, just titled in Beijing on Monday. Federer was this year's Australian Open champ.

Up next for Djokovic will be surging Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, while the 16-time major champion Federer will encounter French Open runner-up Robin Soderling in Friday's quarterfinals. Garcia-Lopez was a surprise titlist two weeks ago in Bangkok, where he shocked Nadal in the semis.

Federer is a dominant 13-1 lifetime against Soderling, who finally beat the Swiss great in a quarterfinal at the French Open back in June. Federer, however, returned the favor with a quarterfinal victory at the U.S. Open last month.

Fourth-seeded Aussie Open finalist Andy Murray topped French qualifier Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4, while a fifth-seeded Soderling drove out 11th-seeded David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4. Ferrer was the Beijing runner-up to Djokovic three days ago.

Murray will face 12th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the round of eight. The former Aussie Open runner-up Tsonga bested German Florian Mayer 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday.

In other third-round play, Garcia-Lopez upended seventh-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 and Argentine Juan Monaco mauled German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-0, 6-2. Monaco will meet Melzer here on Friday.

This week's big winner will collect $616,500.


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