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Supporters of Roger Federer cheer on the top seed as he faces Daniil Medvedev at the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

Federer Impressed By Shanghai Faithful During Opening Win

Swiss will next meet 2016 finalist Bautista Agut

Roger Federer has played more than 1,400 matches all over the world during his 21-year professional career. So, to be sure, he's seen a few passionate crowds in his day, which makes his comments about the Rolex Shanghai Masters fans on Wednesday all that more meaningful.

The top-seeded Federer beat Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in his opener at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. But Federer credited some of the victory to the faithful inside Qi Zhong Stadium.

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The defending champion was tested by Medvedev, who won his biggest title on Sunday in Tokyo, before breaking the Russian in the ninth game of the decider and serving it out.

“I really feel parts of the victory belong to the fans here in Shanghai. I thought they were phenomenal for the first round and they understood I was in trouble and I appreciate that,” Federer said.

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“I like when the crowds cheer. If they cheer for me, that's better, but if they cheer for the opponent, that's okay, too, as long as there is a great crowd. But I'm very thankful and very happy when I see everybody's having a good time. Thankfully I'm used to it. Good, big crowds, loud crowds.”

The 37-year-old was particularly impressed by a legion of fans in the upper deck that sported matching “Allez Federer” banners. He'll hope for another big crowd when he faces Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round.

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“You very rarely get a chance to see a group of guys getting together like this, sitting in a row, I don't know, a hundred, and a few rows up, as well, and holding up massive banners. It's not what tennis usually is about. It's splintered, splintered groups all around the stadium.

“I feel like that's very unique here in Shanghai. They devote their time and creativity, almost like a football fan, and they are all together there to support me,” Federer said.

“So I appreciate that they take the time to think of me also when I'm not here in Shanghai, and when I do show up, they are so excited and so happy, and that obviously gives me a lift, a big one. I can't thank them enough.”

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