Dusan Lajovic Upsets Stan Wawrinka, Bu Shines in Shanghai Debut



by ZAIN UL ABEDIN

Dusan Lajovic Upsets Stan Wawrinka, Bu Shines in Shanghai Debut
© Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images Sport

Dusan Lajovic and Stan Wawrinka, long-time contenders in the tennis world, rekindled their rivalry at the prestigious Rolex Shanghai Masters after more than eight years since their last showdown. The Serbian sensation, Lajovic, made a triumphant return to this head-to-head clash, securing his first-ever victory against the Swiss former World No. 3.

In a captivating match that unfolded on the grand stage of Shanghai's Stadium Court, Lajovic displayed his prowess and determination, defeating Wawrinka with a score of 6-4, 7-6(7). This win not only marked a historic moment for Lajovic but also completed his remarkable feat of triumphing in main-draw matches at all nine ATP Masters 1000 events. Lajovic's journey to victory began with a breakthrough in the opening game as he broke Wawrinka's serve in the first set. He showcased his mental fortitude by saving a set point during the second-set tie-break, ultimately emerging victorious after a thrilling one-hour and 53-minute battle.

Lajovic's remarkable performance was highlighted by his precision, striking 16 winners and making just seven unforced errors. This skillful display in the one-handed backhand duel secured his second tour-level victory against Wawrinka, improving his record to 1-2 in their head-to-head encounters. Building on this momentum, the Serbian tennis sensation has now emerged victorious in eight of his last nine matches against Top 50 opponents.

As Lajovic advances to the second round in Shanghai, he faces the 23rd seed, Tallon Griekspoor, in what promises to be another thrilling encounter.

Meanwhile, American talent Brandon Nakashima also secured his place in the second round by defeating Bernabe Zapata Miralles with a score of 6-1, 7-6(3). Nakashima, the 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, showcased his skills with 21 winners, including nine aces, marking his first Masters 1000 match win since March in Miami. His next challenge awaits in the form of the third seed, Holger Rune.

Victorious Debuts Shine in Shanghai

In a remarkable debut at his home Masters 1000 event, the Chinese young gun, Buyunchaokete, known simply as 'Bu,' made an impressive start by leading Miomir Kecmanovic 6-7(6), 6-2, 2-1 before Kecmanovic retired. Bu's next opponent will be the Astana finalist, Sebastian Korda, as he seeks to strengthen his bid for qualification in the season-ending Next Gen ATP Finals.

The Shanghai Masters also witnessed victories on Day 1 at the Qizhong Tennis Center for Yoshihito Nishioka, Yannick Hanfmann, and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Nishioka secured a hard-fought win against Daniel Altmaier with a score of 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) and will now face Casper Ruud. Hanfmann overcame a tough challenge from qualifier James Duckworth, winning 6-4, 6-7(10), 6-3, setting up a clash with Christopher Eubanks. Kokkinakis delivered a dominant performance against wild card Fabio Fognini, winning 6-2, 6-4, and now prepares for a formidable showdown against the 16th seed, Hubert Hurkacz.

The Rolex Shanghai Masters promises to deliver more thrilling tennis action as these talented players continue to vie for supremacy on the court. Stay tuned for the latest updates and matchups in this prestigious tournament.