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Posted at: Oct 13, 2018, 2:02 AM; last updated: Oct 13, 2018, 2:02 AM (IST)

Federer stretched but pulls through for family

Federer stretched but pulls through for family
Roger Federer won 6-3 2-6 6-4. AFP

Shanghai, October 11

Roger Federer said that he did not want to lose in front of his young family as he was pushed all the way for the second match in a row at the Shanghai Masters on Thursday. The reigning champion squeezed into the quarterfinals after eventually defeating 28th-ranked Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 2-6 6-4.

The top seed will play Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori, while Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev are also through, albeit with far less hassle.

Federer’s wife Mirka and their four children were in the arena and he said afterwards: “I’m not sure if they give me more courage fighting on court, but they were here today. I was telling myself, particularly tonight I cannot do this (lose) because they were there, but I don’t know how much I draw from that, quite honestly.” 

Federer said that two stern encounters had set him up nicely for Nishikori on Friday.

Delpo injury woe

One player who will not be in the quarterfinals is Juan Martin del Potro after he hobbled out of the tournament. The Argentine world No. 4, who had already been suffering with a virus, lost his footing at 5-5 in the first set against Croatia’s Borna Coric. The 30-year-old Del Potro had lengthy treatment and strapping put on his knee, but conceded the match after losing the first set 7-5.

Second seed Djokovic enjoyed a measure of revenge as he booked his spot in the quarterfinals with a 6-4 6-0 demolition of Marco Cecchinato. The Serbian was stunned by the Italian — ranked 72 in the world at the time — in the French Open quarterfinals earlier this year.

Djokovic will play South Africa’s seventh seed Kevin Anderson and said he was arrowing in on Rafa Nadal’s top ranking. The Spaniard is not in Shanghai due to injury. “Obviously, I’m going to try to do everything I can to get to No. 1,” said Djokovic. — AFP

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