Rafael Nadal continues his bid for a first hard-court title of 2011 when he plays Florian Mayer in the Shanghai Masters third round.
Nadal may be a ten time Grand Slam champion but particularly painful defeats on the tour do still rankle and he was relieved to finally banish some ghosts today when he avenged his 2010 Thailand Open defeat to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Back then, Nadal missed multiple match points on the way to a three set loss but this time, he swept to a one-sided 6-3, 6-3 victory.
"[It] was tough [to] lose last year in Bangkok," Nadal said. "Less painful because I came after winning the US Open, but probably was the more unbelievable loss in my career against him, because I never had as many chances as I had in that match, and I lost. [It] was a little bit on my mind today in the break points. I didn't play my best match [today], but is unbelievable the conditions how can change from Tokyo to here."
Nadal's biggest test may await in the last eight in the shape of Tomas Berdych but first of all the Spaniard will have to square off against Mayer. The German is enjoying a career year and he brushed aside the challenge of David Nalbandian 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.
Prediction: Nadal in two.