Roger Survives Shanghai Scare Against Medvedev

Top seed keeps title hopes alive in China

Defending champion Roger Federer survived an opening scare at the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Wednesday, fighting past Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

The Swiss extended his Shanghai win streak to seven against the 22-year-old, who was fresh off the biggest title of his career in Tokyo (d. Nishikori). Medvedev forced the two-time Shanghai champion to fight before Federer eventually broke in the ninth game of the decider and served out the match.

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“In the third set I really started to figure it out, as well, how aggressive or how tactical I wanted to make the match, and by trying everything, I found a solution at the end, which was a great feeling to have, so I was very happy,” Federer said.

The top seed was keen on taking advantage of the quick conditions in Shanghai, serving and volleying, chip and charging and forcing Medvedev into the corners with his backhand slice. Federer won almost 70 per cent of his 42 trips to net (29/42).

But as the match progressed, he was struggling to put away points against Medvedev, who often made the Swiss volley from his shoelaces and passed him with looping forehands. “It was just tougher to get into his service games,” Federer said.

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The 22-year-old said it had been a dream to play Federer, having narrowly missed out on prior chances. And the three-time ATP World Tour champion wasn't awed by the moment.

But he stumbled while serving at 4-4 in the third. Medvedev shanked a forehand on double break point, and Federer served out the match, celebrating with a “Come on!” and a stare to his box.

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The top seed is going for his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this week and is looking to stay No. 2 in the ATP Rankings. He'll guarantee the latter if he can win his third Shanghai title (also 2014), and second seed Novak Djokovic does not reach the final.

Federer will next meet Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat American Mackenzie McDonald 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Bautista Agut beat Djokovic in the 2016 semi-finals before falling to Andy Murray in the Masters 1000 final.

I have a lot of respect for him. He's just a tough guy, you know. So you have to bring it. Could be similar like today. A lot of long rallies potentially,” Federer said.

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