February 19, 2019

Federer pushed all the way by Medvedev, Zverev on course for London

13 October 2018, 10:55 | Anna Jefferson

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic remain on course for Shanghai Masters showdown

Novak Djokovic explains how relationship with Roger Federer changed

Zverev is the fifth player to qualify for the season-ending tournament in London, joining Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in the eight-player field.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who received bye into second round, broke twice at the first set and held out all his service games to make it 6-3 in 34 minutes, Xinhua news agency reported.

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'm in Asia, of course I want to play tennis here, but I don't want to put at risk my health also".

"I was telling myself, particularly tonight I can not do this (lose) because they were there, but I don't know how much I draw from that, quite honestly".

Federer described the incident as an "exception" that sometimes happens "in the heat of the moment" and said the work of the ball kids in bringing players their towels helps save time.

The fourth-seeded Zverev was also struggling with a cold, but he beat Nicoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 6-4.

The defending champion reached the semifinals Friday by beating eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Roger Federer was stretched to three sets for a second consecutive match to reach the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals on Thursday.

The German fourth seed will next play 11th seed Kyle Edmund.

Basilashvili's victory over an under-the-weather Del Potro at the weekend was just his second ATP title, the first coming in Hamburg in July.

"I was happy to get out in two", Federer said.

In the second set, both players looked comfortable on serve throughout the set, but when Federer was serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Medvedev played a very strong return game and with a little help from the Swiss at 30-30, he took his only chance to level the match. "I've always played him when he's playing well, but I'll hope I can take it to him".

"That's one of the - probably the - biggest goal of the end of the season". "It's a pity in the sense I played a handsome match, but didn't get a victory. I played every single point as if there was no tomorrow". It's a pity that I lost the opportunity to play with Federer, to see what's the difference between us.

Del Potro, who was hindered by the flu in losing Sunday's China Open final to unseeded Nikoloz Basilashvili, said in Beijing last week that he was running on empty.

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