Federer survives five set points to reach Shanghai quarters

Roger Federer had to fight his way into the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals, surviving five set points in the opening set before eliminating Belgium's David Goffin 7-6 (7), 6-4 on Thursday in China.

The second-seeded Swiss moved on to the final eight to face German No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev, a 6-0, 7-6 (4) winner against Russian Andrey Rublev.

Goffin took an aggressive approach against the 38-year-old Federer, who had won nine of their previous 10 meetings. He broke Federer in the 11th game and was serving at 6-5, but two missed forehands and a double fault sent it to a tiebreaker.

"It was really him that was able to, I don't want to say dictate play, but I think he was very clear in his shot selection, when to do what," Federer said.

Goffin squandered two more set points against the two-time Shanghai champion in the tiebreaker. In the second set, Federer seized control with a service break in the seventh game.

"I thought he took really a lot of good decisions, and he was super fast on his feet today, which I think made it really hard for me to get my freebies and winners off the baseline, because he was getting to all of them," Federer said. "It was a really tough match."

Federer and Zverev have split their previous six matches. Zverev won 7-5, 7-6 (5) in their most recent meeting in the semifinals of the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia also advanced to the quarters with a 7-5, 6-3 win against No. 16 seed John Isner. The four-time Shanghai champion matched the 6-foot-10 American with nine aces and never faced a break point.

"It's always a big challenge returning the serve of Isner. He's got one of the biggest serves of all time," said Djokovic, who won five straight games straddling the sets to take control.

Djokovic's next opponent is Greek No. 6 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who went the distance for a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5) win against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

No. 11 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy eliminated No. 8 Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-4. He will face No. 4 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria, a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The other quarterfinal pits third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev against Italy's Fabio Fognini.

--Field Level Media

10/10/2019 15:15

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