Shanghai Masters: Roger Federer flustered, Novak Djokovic delights in pre-quarters

Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 08:36 IST | AFP | Shanghai

Federer was left shaking his head in the first set and he suffered a rare inelegant moment in the 12th game, slipping on his own sweat

Federer during his 7-6, 6-4 win over David Goffin yesterday. Pic/AFP
Federer during his 7-6, 6-4 win over David Goffin yesterday. Pic/AFP

Shanghai: Roger Federer said that his devoted band of Chinese supporters helped pull him through a tough first set and into the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals yesterday. The Swiss defeated David Goffin 7-6, 6-4. Federer, 38, plays either Germany's Alexander Zverev or Andrey Rublev of Russia in the last eight. "I never felt like I had the upper hand against David today," said the 20-time Grand Slam winner, who looked unusually flustered at times.

Federer was left shaking his head in the first set and he suffered a rare inelegant moment in the 12th game, slipping on his own sweat — "a bit embarrassing", he said.

'Fans pump me up'

Federer, who failed to win a Grand Slam this year, said their backing had been key to his revival. "I know that if I am in trouble, they will be there to cheer me on," he said. "If I look to them, or pump myself up, I know they will react to that. It's definitely very special here because they all sit in one block, sort of like in football to some extent, which is highly unusual for tennis and a tennis tournament."

Novak cruises

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic made light work of American John Isner and plays Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the Last-8. The Serbian dismissed Isner 7-5, 6-3 in 74 minutes after taming Isner's booming serve. "It's always a big challenge returning the serve of Isner," said Djokovic "He's got one of the biggest serves of all time, he's one of the tallest guys ever to play tennis," he added. 

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