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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, October 10, 2019


Roger Federer denied five set points fighting off David Goffin 7-6(7), 6-4 advancing to his record-extending 87th Masters quarterfinal in Shanghai.

Photo credit: Mike Frey/Rolex Shanghai Masters Facebook

Teetering at times, Roger Federer tumbled in the first set.

Climbing off the court, Federer fought off five set points in a fierce stand subduing David Goffin 7-6(7), 6-4 advancing to his record-extending 87th Masters quarterfinal at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

Tsitsipas: Major Change Coming

In a rematch of the Halle final, Federer amped up his aggression winning 20 of 29 trips to net defeating Goffin for the 10th time in 11 meetings.

Two-time Shanghai champion Federer improved to 47-7 on the season.

Continuing his quest for his 103rd career title, Federer will face Laver Cup teammate Alexander Zverev for a place in the final four.

The fifth-seeded Zverev won nine straight games to open then held off a late charge from Russian Andrey Rublev 6-0, 7-6(4). Zverev hit 17 aces against seven double faults and converted five of 10 break points in a one hour, 24-minute victory.

It was a tricky test from Goffin, who grew up idolizing Federer and pressured the 38-year-old Swiss severely.

Efficiency marked Federer's service games in his opening win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The sniper return of Goffin made the Swiss sweat from the start today.

A pair of sensational running forehand strikes from the Belgian tested Federer in a challenging six-deuce, 18-point game. Federer withstood the turbulence lashing an ace wide holding for 2-1.

The second seed earned the first set point in the 10th game. Goffin answered with shrewd shotmaking darting a forehand drive volley behind Federer as he held for 5-all.

Forty-seven minutes into the match, Federer lost his footing on the baseline, tripped and tumbled to court to face a break point.

The stumble preceded a fall as Goffin fired a forehand pass down the line breaking for 6-5. Playing crisp combinations he showed scoring his lone career win over his tennis hero at the 2017 ATP Finals in London, Goffin was in prime position to take his first set from Federer in two years.

Nerves struck when Goffin served for the opener at 6-5 as three set points slipped from his grip.

On his second set point, a jittery Goffin let his ball toss drop a bit and slapped his third double fault into net. Federer clipped the top of the tape on the Belgian's third set point and Goffin didn't adjust to the altered trajectory of the ball netting a forehand.

Hugging the baseline, Federer robbed his opponent of time earning a break point. Hammering his forehand with vigor, the Swiss drew a stray forehand breaking back to force the tie break after 57 minutes of play.

A cluster of three errors from Federer helped Goffin build a 5-2 tie break lead. Racing forward, Goffin stumbled as he stuck a forehand volley for a fourth set point.

Slashing an inside-out forehand, Federer saved it to level at 6-all. Goffin hit a sharp diagonal forehand for his fifth set point. Federer spun a forehand inside the baseline that prompted a gasp from some fans as Goffin scattered a reply.

Narrowly nudging a forehand down the line barely wide, Goffin found himself staring down a second set point. Whipping the wide serve to create space, Federer fired a forehand down the line surviving five set points in snatching the 69-minute opener.

It was a disconcerting turnaround for Goffin, who outplayed the 20-time Grand Slam king from the baseline for much of the first set, but had nothing to show for it.

Still, the Cincinnati finalist showed resolve digging out of a love-30 hole holding to open the second set.

In the seventh game, a Federer return tripped on the tape and skipped over handcuffing the Belgian. A second net-cord from the Swiss scooted over unsettling Goffin who netted a forehand as Federer broke for 4-3.

Second-set separation was all Federer needed as he breezed through eight of his last nine serve points.

Federer slashed an ace down the middle closing a tough one hour, 55-minute victory.


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