World number two Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Shanghai Masters on Thursday, losing to Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-7 (5/7), 3-6.
The Spanish top seed lost a first set tie-break to Mayer, seeded 15th, and two breaks of serve for the German in the second set of the third round match gave him the victory.
Mayer’s rather unorthodox playing style proved consistently frustrating for Nadal to crack, and the German deserves credit for his impressive victory.
Still, if Nadal is at the top of his game he has to be expected to beat Mayer – however well his opponent plays.
Perhaps a long tennis season is beginning to catch up with him.
Or perhaps his six losses to Djokovic this year have begun to take their toll on Nadal’s confidence.