Rafael Nadal begins his Shanghai Masters bid on Wednesday against compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Nadal begins his campaign tomorrow to triumph in Shanghai for the first time. The Spaniard made the final of this Masters 1000 event two years ago, losing to Nikolay Davydenko but last year he suffered a disappointing third round loss to Jurgen Melzer.
The top seed goes into Shanghai this year determined to raise his game over the next few months as he bids to match Novak Djokovic in 2012.
"If you are not improving every year more and more, your chances are less," he said ahead of the tournament. "Don't forget this is my seventh year on the tour being Top 2. That's happened because, first thing, I was in perfect conditions mentally all these years, but second thing because I always try to improve and play better and better. That's the goal and that's what I have to keep doing if I want to keep being here for long time."
Nadal has won two of his three matches against Garcia-Lopez on the tour. However surprisingly enough it was Garcia-Lopez who won the last one, stunning Nadal in the Bangkok semi-finals last year.
However expect Nadal to get revenge in straight sets.