Feliciano Lopez claimed just his third win in 11 years of playing against Rafael Nadal on Wednesday, taking his chance to beat the World No. 2 6-3, 7-6(6) in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Nadal revealed on Tuesday that he was diagnosed with the beginnings of appendicitis at the weekend, but given a course of aggressive antibiotics to avoid surgery, was determined to give it a go against Lopez.
“For sure [I don’t feel] perfect,” said Nadal. “It’s the same way that I felt before. A little bit more dizzy now. But that’s it. Nothing that I have to worry about. When you lose a match, it is not the moment to talk about obvious things. I lost. Feli played better than me.”
With Nadal lacking in match practice, having fallen in the quarter-finals of his comeback tournament in Beijing last week, the 33-year-old Lopez rose to the occasion and did not miss his opportunity.
The Madrid native fought back from 3-5 down in the second set and saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie-break before claiming victory in one hour and 44 minutes. Lopez fired 15 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced.
Lopez will look to reach his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season when he faces John Isner on Thursday. Isner came through an all-American contest with Steve Johnson 7-6(6), 7-6(7) in one hour and 40 minutes, having fired 24 aces. Isner and Lopez have split their four previous matches, with Lopez winning their most recent contest in four tight sets at Wimbledon.
Nadal, meanwhile, revealed that he hopes to have the surgery to remove his appendix at the conclusion of the year. “My thoughts is continue with Basel, Paris and London. Is true that the past few months I did not have the best of luck. I didn’t have the best of luck since Wimbledon. I was playing a good year, very positive year. After that I was unlucky with the wrist, what’s going on now. Now there remains three more tournaments for me.”