Richard Gasquet was dealt a setback to his chances of qualifying for the elite ATP Finals after a first-round loss to Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-3, 6-4 in the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

The Frenchman, who played in the year-end championships once before in 2007, sits in ninth place in the standings, a mere 20 points behind Stanislas Wawrinka for the last spot in the eight-man field.

Pospisil is having a breakthrough year, reaching his maiden Masters semifinal in Montreal and helping guide Canada to the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time last month.

The 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) Canadian overpowered Gasquet with his forehand and serve, hitting 16 winners to just two for the Frenchman in the opening set and finishing with 10 aces.

The key was to stay aggressive the whole time, even in the big moments, going for my shots

Vasek Pospisil, Canada tennis player


"The key was to stay aggressive the whole time, even in the big moments, going for my shots," Pospisil said.

"It's a huge win for me."

Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt jumped out to 3-0 against Andreas Seppi before the Italian reeled off 10 of the next 11 games to win the match 6-4, 6-2.

Seppi will play 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the next round.

Hewitt is working his way back up the rankings after five surgeries in recent years and was coming off an upset win over Juan Martin del Potro at the U.S. Open.

The Australian said his wrist has been bothering him in recent weeks and he'll undergo tests to determine the extent of the injury.

"I've just had a bit of a niggle,'' he said.

Play was disrupted for the second straight day due to heavy rain from the remnants of Typhoon Fitow, which made landfall in southern China early Monday and moved north over Shanghai.

Matches in the main stadium were played with the roof closed, while those scheduled for outer courts were moved to an indoor facility so organisers could attempt to finish the first round on Tuesday.

In other matches, Tommy Robredo of Spain beat countryman Albert Montanes 6-4, 6-1, and Benoit Paire of France upset 13th-seeded countryman Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal, who reclaimed the No. 1 ranking this week, and Novak Djokovic are expected to play their opening matches  on Wednesday.

Source: AP