Jared Donaldson of the U.S. enjoyed an early birthday present in beating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4 in the Shanghai Masters first round on Sunday.
Donaldson, who turns 21 on Monday, saved all eight break points he faced. He broke Cuevas’ serve once in each of the last two sets.
The 56th-ranked Donaldson plans to celebrate his birthday by going to Disney Shanghai on Monday, before experiencing a first career meeting against No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the second round.
“I want to get a picture with Mickey, Pluto the dog, and Daffy Duck,” Donaldson said, laughing.
On a less lighter note, Donaldson said of playing Nadal: “You want to play against the best and see how your game stacks up. Playing against someone like Rafa is really special. If I lose, it will allow me to know what was my game lacking, what I need to improve on to beat guys like him.”
Gilles Simon of France, a 2014 Shanghai finalist, posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over Chinese wild card Wu Yibing, who won the U.S. Open junior boys’ title last month.
Also Sunday, Lucas Pouille of France defeated Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-4, 6-2, and Italy’s Fabio Fognini beat Fernando Verdasco of Spain 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.