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Federer To Remain At World No. 1 After Hard-Fought Win Over Wawrinka

Shanghai, China

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer will be No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings for a 300th week on Monday.

Roger Federer is guaranteed to be No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings for a 300th week on Monday after a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-0 victory over his Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

“I never thought of something like this when I was a little kid, that's for sure,” said Federer. “I was just hoping one day my dream was going to come true to play on the regular tour, play Wimbledon, maybe become World No. 1 at some stage. So here I am at 300 weeks. It's pretty incredible. Probably one of my biggest accomplishments. I'm very proud of that record, no doubt about it.”

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Wawrinka got off to a strong start to win just his fourth set in 13th meetings against Federer on Thursday evening. He lost nine of his service points and saved two break points.

At 4-4 in the second set, Federer got himself out of trouble from 0/30 and 30/40 when backhand errors cost Wawrinka, who was forced to save one set point at 5-6, 30/40. Federer opened up a 3-1 in the tie-break, but Wawrinka levelled the score only to see his friend raise his game. Federer clinched the set when Wawrinka send a backhand wide.

It was one-way traffic in the decider, as Federer lost just five points to complete victory in just under two hours at the Qi Zhong Stadium. This week, Federer is bidding to win a record 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and tie John McEnroe on 77 tour-level titles.

“I consider myself a little lucky,” said Federer. “I never stopped believing, pushed till the end, then got off to a good start in the third set. Basically that was it. It was a tough match. He was the better player for basically two sets. It's great finding a way out that way, that's for sure.”

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Federer will next play Croatian No. 10 seed Marin Cilic, who converted three of his 12 break point opportunities to break a two-match losing streak against Fernando Verdasco for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win in two hours and eight minutes. Cilic advances to the quarter-finals for the first time with his 37th match win of the year (37-16 overall).

Second seed Novak Djokovic, who could have regained the World No. 1 ranking this week, will next play Tommy Haas, this season’s Gerry Weber Open titlist (d. Federer), who swept past sixth seed and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals contender Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-1 in 66 minutes. Haas won 92 per cent of his first service points for his 30th match win of the year. He now has 499 victories overall in his career.

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