Rafael Nadal to carry on playing through pain despite needing his appendix removed

World No 2 admitted he would need surgery at some stage

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The Independent Online

Rafael Nadal is still planning to play at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Wednesday despite suffering from appendicitis.

The world No 2 was hoping to go ahead with his match against his fellow Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez, despite admitting that he would need surgery at some stage.

Nadal revealed that he had started to feel pain in his appendix after arriving here on Saturday evening. After a sleepless night he went to hospital, where he was told that he could either have immediate surgery or try antibiotics. He opted for the latter, returned to hospital Tuesday morning and was told that “everything is under control now”.

The Spaniard, who returned to competition only last week following a wrist injury, had a light 45-minute practice session late yesterday. He said he had been told he would not do any damage by competing but would make a final decision according to how he feels today. Nadal will need an operation to remove the appendix at some stage but wants to talk to doctors at home before making a decision as to when.

The last time that Andy Murray did not receive a bye into the second round of a Masters Series tournament was more than six years ago, but the 27-year-old Scot made light of his slide down the pecking order as he eased through his first-round match here in Shanghai yesterday. With free passages handed only to the top eight players, the world No 11 needed to overcome Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili to secure a second-round meeting today with Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz.

Murray, who last played in the first round of a Masters Series event at Hamburg in 2008, won 6-1, 7-5, his only lapses being two loose service games at the start of the second set.

The most significant consequence of dropping down the world rankings is always seen in tournament draws. Murray, who fell out of the world’s top 10 last month for the first time for six years, knows that if he beats Janowicz and the winner of David Ferrer’s meeting with Martin Klizan he is likely to face a quarter-final showdown with Novak Djokovic, the world No 1.

Murray, nevertheless, insisted that there were positives to playing in the first round. “I would rather be seeded in the top eight, but it can be beneficial [not to have a bye],” he said. “When you come from another tournament and you play your first match against someone who has already played [a first-round match] it can be tricky. Sometimes getting an extra match can help.”

The Scot agreed that today’s encounter with Janowicz – a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 winner over Edouard Roger-Vasselin – could be a good example, especially as the quick court here contrasts with the slow and heavy conditions in Beijing last week. Murray beat Janowicz in the Chinese capital but only after a tough three-set battle.

“He was 5-1 up in about 15 minutes and I was on the back foot straight away,” Murray said. “At least I will go into it knowing the conditions, knowing how the court plays.”