Roger Repels Fognini To Begin 100th Title Chase

Federer to face Nishikori in Paris quarter-finals

Roger Federer began his pursuit of tour-level title No. 100 on Thursday, beating 13th seed Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rolex Paris Masters.

"I think both of us were far from our best, but we fought with what we had and at the end I think I maybe served a bit better in the important moments than Fabio did. Off the baseline, it was tough. He takes the ball early and can really redirect really well. But I’m very happy because it means I’m moving on in the tournament."

Federer, who received a walkover into the Round of 16 due to Milos Raonic's withdrawal, is trying to triumph in Bercy for the second time in his career. The Swiss has now moved into the last eight at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in five of his past six appearances.

The 27-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titlist is gaining momentum ahead of his 16th appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals. Federer, currently No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, will try to lift a record seventh trophy at the season finale in London, to take place at The O2 from 11-18 November. The 37-year-old improves to 45-7 in 2018, making at least the quarter-finals in 10 of 12 events this season.

Federer now leads Fognini 4-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, winning all 10 sets they have played. The 99-time tour-level champion has won nine of those 10 sets by a margin of 6-4 or greater, coming out victorious on Thursday in just 73 minutes.

Federer did well on return, continuing the momentum he gained winning the title at last week’s Swiss Indoors Basel. The third seed won 46 per cent of his return points to eliminate the Italian, who captured three ATP World Tour titles this season. Federer will hope to carry over his service performance from the second set, when he lost just four service points after landing just 36 per cent of his first serves in the opening set.

"It's different altitude to Basel. I think the balls aren't the same, and it's just hard to find the zones consistently time and time again. I hope it's just going to be a touch better tomorrow again. I think the rhythm is important and how you back up that serve, for me, that's always key," Federer said. "Today was okay and then it went off a few times and then it came back again so it's a good match for me to analyse."

Federer will next face No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori, who beat seventh seed Kevin Anderson in the last match of the day. The Swiss beat Nishikori three weeks ago at the Rolex Shanghai Masters in straight sets. The Japanese star, however, will be motivated by trying to keep his dreams of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals alive.

Did You Know?
Federer has 45 match wins in 2018. The 37-year-old has earned 40 or more victories 17 times (2001-15 and 2017-18).

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