Former No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer moved within one match of a quarterfinal collision at the Shanghai Masters today.
Djokovic, who just got supplanted at the top spot by Rafael Nadal, crushed Rafa’s countryman Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-0 while Federer eased past Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-3.
Federer is now 10-0 lifetime against Seppi, but early on the Italian led with a break 3-2.
“Just a tough combination when I got broken,” said Federer. “I was able to break back right away still with the used balls. Then with the ball change, I was in the match really.
“It was a big maybe shall I say 20 minutes going up a set and a break, really started to feel comfortable. Even though it remained tough, Seppi did a good job of hanging around. That’s the kind of first round match you want in this particular situation I’m in right now.”
Djokovic just won the Beijing crown over the weekend and is now defending the 2012 Shanghai title he won over Andy Murray.
If Djokovic beats Fabio Fognini and Federer gets past Gael Monfils on Thursday, the two will square off in the quarterfinal dandy on Friday.
New No. 1 Nadal also advanced behind a a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov. Nadal broke the Ukrainian three times and never faced a break point.
“The court is fast, faster than the previous years,” said Nadal. “I think I played a good match. To win against Dolgopolov the way I did is because I did a lot of things well. The serve worked great. Something that didn’t happen last week. That’s a very important thing.”
Juan Martin Del Potro was a winner needing a third set breaker to put away Philipp Kohlschreiber. The Argentine who just won Tokyo admitted afterward he’s been struggling with the flu.
“It was really tough for me,” said Del Potro who later withdrew from doubles. “I couldn’t run a lot. I think my serve helped me a lot to keep playing for the three sets because I made many aces. With my serve I didn’t run too much. I was lucky in the tie-break because he made a few mistakes. I won a really tough match.”
David Ferrer and the back-addled Tomas Berdych also earned victories as 12 of the 14 seeds in action today all won. The only losses were by John Isner who stumbled against Carlos Berlocq and Tommy Robredo who retired with a wrist injury against Fognini.
Isner’s loss severely damages any hopes he had for qualifying for London. Fellow London chasers Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Milos Raonic and Stanislas Wawrinka all pushed on toward the finals with wins. Though Raonic and Wawrinka now play each other in the third round tomorrow in a very crucial match.
THURSDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:45 AM
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs P Andujar (ESP) / F Lopez (ESP)
Not Before 2:00 pm
 J Del Potro (ARG) vs  T Haas (GER)
G Monfils (FRA) vs  R Federer (SUI)
Not Before 6:00 pm
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs F Fognini (ITA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
C Berlocq (ARG) vs  R Nadal (ESP)
GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm
 K Nishikori (JPN) vs  J Tsonga (FRA)
Not Before 3:30 pm
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs F Mayer (GER)
 N Almagro (ESP) vs  T Berdych (CZE)
 S Wawrinka (SUI) vs  M Raonic (CAN)
[WC] R Federer (SUI) / Z Zhang (CHN) vs  I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) – Possible Court Change
Also Check Out:
Djokovic, Defending Champ Federer Lead All-Star Shanghai Masters Field
Nadal Barely Survives Karlovic; Murray v Isner Thursday at ATP Shanghai
Isner, Raonic On Track For Memphis Finals; Almagro, Ferrer Alive In Buenos Aires
Novak Djokovic: Roger Played The Perfect Match
Roger Federer Withdraws From Shanghai Due to “Nagging Injuries”