Roger Federer opened his Shanghai title defense with a tough 3-set 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over recent Tokyo champion Daniil Medvedev. Federer, who was playing in his first official tour match since the US Open, broke at 4-all in the third then served it out.
“In the third set I really started to figure it out, as well, how aggressive or how tactical I wanted to make the match,” said Federer. “And by trying everything, I found a solution at the end, which was a great feeling to have, so I was very happy.”
Up next tomorrow is a meeting with Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut who he leads 7-0.
“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.
Earlier, US Open finalist Juan Martin del Potro survived his own scare in a 7-5, 7-6(7) victory over Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman served for the first then held four set points in the second set tiebreaker at 6-2. But Gasquet couldn’t close and the ill-feeling Argentine won seven of the last eight points to advance.
“It wasn’t easy to play for me today,” said Del Potro. “I did what I could. I didn’t run too much. But I think I played with all my strength in the important moments of the match.
“I got lucky that I win, but tomorrow will be a different day. If I have a good night today and I have a good recovery tomorrow morning, maybe I will feel a little bit better for tomorrow night and play better than today. But I’m going like hour by hour and see how I’m feeling.”
Del Potro returns tomorrow to face Borna Coric.
Alexander Zverev eased into the third round with a win over Beijing champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 7-5.
“I played all right,” said Zverev. “I played a solid match. I did everything that I needed to win. Focused a lot, focused on my game. As you can probably hear in my voice, I’m a little sick right now, so feeling a little bit low energy, but I hope it will get better over the next few days.”
Kevin Anderson, Kei Nishikori and Alex De Minaur were also winners. And Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame an early break to beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6(8).
Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic resumes his bid for a fourth Shanghai title against the last man to beat him at a Grand Slam, Marco Cecchinato who upset Hyeon Chung.
Also, Sam Querrey meets Nishikori, Anderson takes on Tsitsipas and in a battle of youngsters, it will be Zverev and De Minaur.
THURSDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE
CENTER Starts At 1:00 Pm
Alex de Minaur v 4 Alexander Zverev
Not Before 3:00 Pm
Marco Cecchinato v 2 Novak Djokovic
Not Before 6:00 Pm
1 Roger Federer v Roberto Bautista Agut
3 Juan Martin del Potro v 13 Borna Coric
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