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For the second day in a row, Roger Federer came through a gruelling match at the Shanghai Masters, as he beat Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets on Thursday.
The top seed and defending champion lost his way in the second set after coasting to the first, but he upped his levels in the decider when it mattered, eventually coming through 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to move into the quarter-finals.
Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic turned on the style to ensure his safe progression, while fourth seed Alexander Zverev was also a straightforward winner. Third seed Juan Martin del Potro will take to the court against Borna Coric later.
Here are the latest results from Shanghai and a closer look at the highlights from Thursday’s play.
(1) Roger Federer bt. Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
(2) Novak Djokovic bt. Marco Cecchinato, 6-4, 6-0
(4) Alexander Zverev bt. Alex de Minaur, 6-1, 6-4
(7) Kevin Anderson bt. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4, 7-6 (1)
(8) Kei Nishikori bt. Sam Querrey, 7-6 (7), 6-4
(11) Kyle Edmund bt. Nicolas Jarry, 7-6 (5), 6-3
Matthew Ebden bt. Peter Gojowczyk, 6-2, 6-3
(11) Kyle Edmund vs. (4) Alexander Zverev
(7) Kevin Anderson vs. (2) Novak Djokovic
(3) Juan Martin del Potro/(13) Borna Coric vs. Matthew Ebden
(1) Roger Federer vs. (8) Kei Nishikori
Federer Fights Through Again
WANG ZHAO/Getty Images
In the early exchanges, Federer played some sparkling tennis and put the first set in the bank with minimal fuss.
However, a day on from losing his focus in the second set against Daniil Medvedev, more complacency crept into his game again. After breaking in the first game of the set, Federer lost the next four in a row, allowing Bautista Agut to take control of the stanza.
Per Record‘s Jose Morgado, his work with the ball in hand was well short of his usual standards:
José Morgado @josemorgado
Federer in the 2nd set 47% first serve points won ZERO PER CENT second serve points won
That trend continued, as the Spaniard broke Federer again to take the second set 6-2, pushing the veteran into yet another three-set encounter.
However, just as he did on Wednesday, Federer found a break in the ninth game of the final set and was able to serve the match out.
Djokovic was clearly pumped up for his match on Thursday, as Cecchinato famously sprung a surprise to knock the Serb out of the French Open earlier this year.
As early as the third game of the match, Djokovic showed his passion, as he smashed his racket after a call went against him. Still, he was able to get through that testing spell, secure a break and eventually the set.
From that point on the Italian was unable to cope with the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, as he elevated his game to a level Cecchinato was unable to match:
ATP World Tour @ATPWorldTour
.@DjokerNole wins seven straight games and 14 of the last 17 points to close out a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Marco Cecchinato. Do you think Novak has a fourth @SH_RolexMasters crown in him? #ATPMasters1000 https://t.co/iFAZYV1wfx
Next up for Djokovic is a repeat of the Wimbledon final, as he will take on Kevin Anderson, who has also been impressive at this tournament so far.
Also into the quarter-finals is Zverev, as he outclassed new Australian No. 1 Alex de Minaur in their match. The German will face Kyle Edmund in the last eight in what has all the makings of an intriguing encounter.