Third seed Stan Wawrinka was shown the exit in the Shanghai Masters tournament by Gilles Simon who defeated him in straight sets in the third round on Thursday. The set scores were 6-4, 6-4. The Frenchman crashed Wawrinka in 96 minutes. Simon will now face Jack Sock in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Although Simon was behind (4-2) Wawrinka in the FedEx ATP Head 2 Head, he has an overall impressive record against the Frenchman having never lost to him in hard court tournaments since 2010. Simon’s inherent ability to take the ball early made things difficult for Wawrinka. Wawrinka couldn’t quite find the range for his forehand. Initially, the Swiss were ahead with a lead of 3-1. However, his unforced errors enabled his opponent to win the set and also secure a breakpoint in the second set. Wawrinka fought back hard and broke back to level the scores but his unforced errors continued which really hampered his prospects. Ultimately Simon with his excellent play won the match.
Sock, who is the Frenchman’s opponent in the upcoming quarterfinals, had defeated Simon in their encounter in Stockholm last year. In the third round, Sock defeated Milos Raonic. He saved two match points in this match. By defeating Raonic in the third round the American has broken the jinx of losing eight times in a row to Raonic. Raonic has already qualified for the upcoming Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The sock was also successful in defeating Raonic in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter in February in 2013. This match was played in Memphis. In a post-match briefing, Sock said that he and Raonic have been involved in a lot of close hard fought encounters. He said that he is happy to have beaten Raonic in the recent match. Raonic seemed to be indefensible in the first set which he won in just 24 minutes. He just lost 11 points in the opening set. Sock finally broke Raonic in the fifth game. In the deciding set, Sock kept his calm and was able to crush Raonic successfully, eventually winning the match. This happens to be Sock’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final.
Raonic, after his loss to Sock, regretted that he didn’t perform well in the third set. He felt that the double fault he made when he was a break point down in the second set gave Sock a lot of confidence. According to Raonic, the match was evenly balanced. However, at the end Sock seemed to be a bit better and eventually was able to win the match.