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Sports

AFP
October 11, 2018

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Federer makes shaky start in Shanghai

SHANGHAI: Roger Federer was given a huge scare before finally seeing off Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to open his Shanghai Masters defence in unconvincing fashion on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old Swiss top seed faces Spain’s unseeded Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday in the last 16.The 20-time Grand Slam champion initially wasted little time stamping his mark on the tournament, breaking the 22nd-ranked Medvedev in the first game.

But Medvedev, fresh from winning the Japan Open, broke back and enjoyed even more luck on Federer’s service in the second set.Federer’s large cheering squad — decked out in matching red T-shirts — looked on in disbelief as Medvedev grabbed the second set.

The 22-year-old then put the Swiss under immediate pressure on his serve in the deciding set, only for an uncharacteristically flustered Federer to hold. In what was the first meeting between the pair, Federer broke in the ninth game to finally destroy Medvedev’s resolve in just under two hours.

With the exception of injured world number one Rafael Nadal, Federer’s chief rivals are all still in the mix.Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev both defied illness to join Federer and Novak Djokovic in the next round.

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