Shanghai - -Giant American John Isner battled back from a set down against
Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo to win his opening match at the
typhoon-hit Shanghai Masters on Monday.
The 14th seed dodged heavy
rain and swirling winds by playing under the closed roof at the Qizhong
tennis centre, but struggled to impose his heavy-serving game on the
83rd-ranked Colombian in a performance strewn with errors.
foot 2.08 metres Isner - America's top player - lost the
first set 6-4, but dug deep to win the second set 7-5, levelling the
match on his seventh set point.
Isner, who fired down 29 aces but made 32 unforced errors, broke Giraldo in the 12th game of the decider to take it 7-5.
Spain's Marcel Granollers was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over out-of-sorts
Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who required attention from the physio for an
apparent left ankle problem.
Granollers, 36th in the world, broke
the bespectacled Tipsarevic, ranked 12 places higher, early in both
sets, which proved decisive.
Roger Federer, seeded fifth in the singles, is on Monday teaming up in the doubles competition with China's Zhang Ze, ranked 271st.
Swiss 17-time Grand Slam winner, who has slipped to seventh in the
singles rankings, is in danger of missing out on next month's
end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals, currently held in London, for the
first time since 2001.
He faces a potential quarter-final meeting
with defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic, who has dropped one
place to world number two behind Rafael Nadal, despite beating the
Spaniard in the China Open final at the weekend.
The top eight seeds in Shanghai all have a bye through to the second round.
Fitow slammed into China's east coast on Monday, packing winds of more
than 200 kilometres an hour and bringing drenching rains,
forcing changes to the scheduling of the tournament.