SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Andy Murray overcame a late hiccup to reach the Shanghai Masters second round and world number 553 Wang Chuhan caused a major shock when he knocked out 15th seed Fabio Fognini in straight sets on his ATP World Tour debut on Tuesday.
Murray, ninth in the race to London as he seeks to break into the elite top eight who will play in the season-ending ATP Finals in November, overcame Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-1 7-5.
The Briton broke his opponent three times to run away with the first set but was broken twice in the second and had to dig deep to avoid a decider and set a second-round clash with Jerzy Janowicz.
“I started the match well, he wasn’t in much of a rhythm at the beginning,” Murray, who was 3-5 down in the second set before reeling off the last four games, told Sky Sports.
”I was dictating a lot of the points. I was using good variety. At the beginning of the second set, I played a sloppy game on my serve. He gained some confidence from that and started playing better.
“I just had to find a way to get through in the end. I used smart tactics at the end of the set. I started using the variety again. It was a good start for me, but some work to be done,” said Murray who ended a 15-month title drought at the Shenzen Open last month.
Chinese wildcard Wang, who mainly plays in Challenger or Futures tournaments, recorded a 7-6(5) 6-4 first-round win over Italian Fognini on the Grandstand court to huge cheers from the shocked home crowd.
The 22-year-old showed few nerves as he continued to pound aggressively for the lines against a flat Fognini, who offered little in the closing stages of the match and seemed happy to get off court as quickly as possible.
“I wanted to win this match, but I never actually thought I could do it,” said Wang who secured victory over the world number 17 with a stunning backhand winner down the line before turning to his coaching team with a shocked expression and clenched fists.
“I practised with him in Beijing, so I knew a bit about him. And my coach used to be in the ATP circle, so he also told me something about Fabio’s weaknesses.”
Mikhail Youzhny also caused an upset, beating 12th seed Ernests Gulbis 6-4 6-1.
The Russian, who converted three of his four break points and dropped just 10 points on serve, next meets Ivan Dodig, who beat Pablo Cuevas 7-5 6-2.
Canadian Vasek Pospisil edged out Santiago Giraldo 6-2 6-7(5) 6-1 and takes on 14th seed Roberto Bautista in the second round.
Feliciano Lopez fired 19 aces to overcome qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-7(12) 6-3 6-4 and set an all-Spaniard second round clash with world number two Rafa Nadal.
Ivo Karlovic, who upset U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic in the first round, belted down 24 aces to beat Yen-Hsun Lu 7-6(6) 6-3.
The big-serving Croatian lost just nine points on serve and meets Tomas Berdych or Richard Gasquet in the third round.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by Ed Osmond