Reigning champion Roger Federer emerged from another nervy battle while Novak Djokovic enjoyed a measure of revenge in Shanghai
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 11/10/18 1:58pm
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic stayed on course for a Shanghai Masters showdown in Sunday’s final as they both made it through to the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Federer was made to work hard for his 6-3 2-6 6-4 win against Roberto Bautista Agut to make it eight wins in a row against the Spaniard.
“I thought it was a tough match,” Federer told Sky Sports. “Roberto is always going to give you a tough battle and a set and break up, you would have thought that would have been enough, but he got a quick break back and then all of a sudden it’s even again.
“He was hanging tough and really got in a great position in that second set. I think I had 80 per cent first serves in that second set and he broke me twice so he was feeling it.
“In the third set it was just difficult, so I’m happy I got through somehow. It was important to stay calm and keep playing aggressive in tough conditions. 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.”
The world No 2 will tackle Kei Nishikori in the last eight after the eighth seed came through against American big-hitter Sam Querrey 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.
Djokovic enjoyed a measure of revenge as he booked his spot in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-4 6-0 victory against Marco Cecchinato.
The Serb was stunned by the Italian in the French Open quarter-finals earlier this year, but the world No 3, who is now gunning for Rafael Nadal’s No 1 ranking, showed the kind of form which saw him explode back to life by winning Wimbledon, the Cincinnati Masters and US Open.
He eased his way past the 16th seed in just under 70 minutes to set up a meeting against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson after the seventh seed beat Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 7-6 (7-1).
“I was making him play always an extra shot,” Djokovic said. “I was aggressive when I needed to be. The second set was perfect, really.
“I wanted to start off well because I know that he battles hard and he makes you deserve every point, win every point.”
They will join Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who will next play No 4 seed Alexander Zverev, in the final eight of the China tournament.
Watch live continued coverage of the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals on Sky Sports Action from 6am on Friday.
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