Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
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Federer forced to battle again on way to Shanghai quarters

Federer forced to battle again on way to Shanghai quarters

Bautista Agut had never taken a set off the defending champion heading into the contest but he clawed his way back from a set and a break down to push Federer all the way. "It's fast, it's heavy, it's heavy balls and cold conditions so I feel that you have to take a big cut of the ball to make real damage".

All three still advanced at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

Daniil Medvedev, who upset Kei Nishikori to win the Japan Open on Sunday, struggled but beat Chinese wild card Zhang Ze 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Federer, who said players often use their towel wipe-down to gather their thoughts between points, is happy to see the racks given a go, but has his reservations.

Juan Martin del Potro, who could move above Federer in the rankings into second spot if he wins the title, provided Novak Djokovic does not advance to the last four, progressed with a 7-5 7-6 (9-7) defeat of Richard Gasquet.

"In the third set I really started to figure it out", said Federer, who was roared on by a band of fanatical fans decked out in red tops.

Alexander Zverev was first up on the center court and he played a very solid match to fend off a red-hot Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight, 7-5, 6-4 sets. "I have been talking with the doctors every day".

The Spanish former Wimbledon and French Open champion brushed aside Romania's Ana Bogdan with the loss of only three games to underline her status as one of the tournament favourites.

"Probably the hardest-hitting player I have ever played against", said Zverev.

"I'm in Asia, of course I want to play tennis here, but I don't want to put at risk my health also". We have one and a half months off in our season, and that's end of November and December.

In the second set, both players looked comfortable on serve throughout the set, but when Federer was serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Medvedev played a very strong return game and with a little help from the Swiss at 30-30, he took his only chance to level the match.

"Which doesn't sound like a lot, but you add that over a five-hour match, next thing you know, you saw much less tennis". "At this point in my life, I want to do what I really like to", said Federer. "I do not want to paint myself as a ideal person".

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