Nadal and Kyrgios suffer surprise Shanghai Masters defeats
Rafael Nadal's second-round exit headlined an action packed Wednesday at the Shanghai Masters, with Nick Kyrgios turning heads for the wrong reasons as he also departed.
Viktor Troicki dumped the Spaniard out thanks to a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) victory, his first career win over the former world number one.
Kyrgios was jeered by the Shanghai crowd after appearing to give up in his match, rowing with onlookers during the contest and questioning his doubters afterwards in the latest controversial turn in the Australian's career.
There were impressive wins elsewhere for high-ranking trio Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic.
TERRIFIC TROICKI TOO GOOD FOR NADAL
Nadal headed to Shanghai determined to build late-season momentum after a wrist injury wrecked his French Open and Wimbledon and Lucas Pouille stunned him at the US Open.
However, Troicki was far too good as he took the former world number one down into the trenches on Nadal's serve in particular, tempting the left-hander into one shot too many on numerous occasions.
Troicki's win was not just built on defence, a mesmeric running forehand pass to earn the match's first break bringing a heavily pro-Nadal crowd to their feet.
The partisan backing lifted Nadal in the second set as he held off Troicki to force a shootout, but the Spaniard's game deserted him in the tie-break, with few chances remaining for Nadal to end 2016 on a high.
PLAIN SAILING FOR GRAND-SLAM TRIO
Three of 2016's four grand-slam finalists were in action on Wednesday, with Wawrinka, Raonic and Murray each securing progression with relative comfort.
After blasting past Kyle Edmund 6-3 6-4, Wawrinka is confident he is over the back injury which forced his withdrawal in Japan last week: "On the court I think I was playing good today. Moving well, also, that's the most important thing when I have some back problem, and I feel more or less 100 per cent."
Raonic was at his clinical best to down Paolo Lorenzi 6-2 6-2, winning 84 per cent of his first service points, while Murray was a convincing 6-3 6-2 victor against Steve Johnson.
KYRGIOS "TAPS OUT"
Nick Kyrgios entered this tournament closing on the top 10 in the world with huge momentum behind him on the back of his biggest career title to date in Tokyo.
He will leave it under a cloud of increasingly familiar ignominy.
The Australian appeared to give up late on in Wednesday's 6-3 6-1 loss to Mischa Zverev, at one stage serving tamely before walking off court to give the German qualifier the point.
Kyrgios has previously been accused of tanking and was caught by on-court microphones asking the umpire: "Can you call time so I can finish this match and go home?"
Kei Nishikori had a good day, despite not featuring in this tournament with a muscle injury. Tomas Berdych's straight-sets defeat to Marcel Granollers ensured the Japanese world number four of a spot in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.