By Jane Voigt
Chinese Wild Card Chuhan Wang beat Fabio Fognini, the No. 15 seed, in Shanghai today, proving once again that anyone in the top 1,000 can beat an elite player. Wait … that’s not how it goes. It’s supposed to be, ‘that anyone in the top 100 can beat an elite player,’ Fognini included.
Facts are facts, though. And on his debut at this ATP Masters 1000 event Wang, ranked No. 553 in the world, did upset the Italian. Wang saved four of five break points, and served out the match to win, 76(5) 64. His best showing at any tournament are two semifinal runs at Futures tournaments. He is 22.
“I wanted to win this match, but I never actually thought I could do it,” Wang told the ATP.
Wang’s next opponent is Qualifier Malek Jaziri of Tunisia. They have no match history, naturally, but incentive will be huge when they face off tomorrow. Already two seeds have been eliminated from their section of the draw, in addition to Fognini: Marin Cilic and Ernest Gulbis.
Rafael Nadal sits in the bottom half, as well, seeded number two. Today, though, in his pre-tournament press conference he announced he had an appendicitis, yet expects to play on Wednesday.
“It’s an appendicitis controlled right now by some pills [antibiotics],” Nadal said.
His comment left most reporters transfixed. With little medical knowledge at their fingertips, opinion flew on Twitter and other social media about the decision.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the potential problem stems from a rupture of the appendix. Infection can then spread throughout the abdomen, which can be life threatening.
The simple step would be to have the appendix removed. However, Nadal said surgery would be delayed.
“I am not going to go for surgery That’s great news for me today,” The Miami Herald reported Nadal as saying. “That’s why I’m here practicing for 45 minutes, and trying to play tomorrow.”
The news came on the heels of an extended leave from the tour for a right wrist injury. Nadal had just returned to competition last week in Beijing at The China Open, after almost three months. He had not played a match since his fourth-round loss at Wimbledon.
And in a side note … champions can be defined through lots of variables — performance record, contributions to society, and sportsmanship, are a few. Nadal has always been considered an example of these three attributes. In contrast, Fabio Fognini has riled fans, tournament staff, and his fellow players, on a regular basis. Today was no different.
While Nadal plays on with an appendicitis, Fognini was said to have ‘given the finger’ to the Shanghai crowd after losing to Wang.