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Shanghai Masters 2018 Round of 16: Djokovic, Zverev cruise to Quarters; Federer survives again as Del Potro bows out

Mridul Bhasin
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
87   //    11 Oct 2018, 22:57 IST

The Serbian star completed an emphatic victory on Thursday, October 11
The Serbian star completed an emphatic victory on Thursday, October 11

Alexander Zverev's dominant display

Alexander Zverev was first up on the centre court for the second day in a row as he took on Australian No. 1 Alex De Minaur and dominated the proceedings with a 6-1, 6-4 win.

Zverev started the match looking very comfortable, pounding down big serves and groundstrokes and in just the third game, broke De Minaur’s serve to take the advantage.

There was no stopping the German for the rest of the set as well, as he clinched five straight games, overpowering the Aussie both off the serve and the ground to take the opener 6-1.

The second set was a lot more competitive but this time as well, it was De Minaur who did all the running, as he couldn't find a way to get into Zverev’s service games and struggled to hold on to his delivery.

And after staying with Zverev for six games, the Aussie finally succumbed to the pressure that the German was putting on him off the groundstrokes, handing him the break as Zverev cruised to become the first man to reach the quarterfinals this year.

In the quarters, he will face the British No. 1 Kyle Edmund, who defeated Nicolas Jarry in a tight, 7-6(5), 6-3 contest.


Revenge for Novak Djokovic

Djokovic was defeated by Cecchinato at the Roland Garros earlier this year
Djokovic was defeated by Cecchinato at the Roland Garros earlier this year

Next up on centre court was the Wimbledon and US Open champion, Novak Djokovic, who took on the last man to beat him in a Grand Slam, Marco Cecchinato. This time, the Serb tasted some sweet revenge as he steamrolled the Italian 6-4, 6-0 in just over an hour to reach the last eight.

Djokovic started the match creating a lot of chances on the Italian’s serve, but uncharacteristically, failing to convert them. This left him a bit frustrated, as he was seen throwing his racket in only the third game of the match.

The blazing reaction affected him for a bit in his next game, as trailed 0-30 on serve with a couple of unforced errors from his racket, but calmed down just in time to hold on after saving two break points.

The Serb kept pegging at the Italian’s serve and finally converted on his seventh break point and held on to take the first set 6-4.

The second set was a similar story, only this time Djokovic didn’t waste any of those chances as he looked dialed in and served up a nice bagel to the Italian to breeze through to the quarter finals.

In the quarters, he will face Kevin Anderson who defeated Next Gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas in very tight, straight, 6-4, 7-6(1), sets and stopped the Greek’s London bid.


Roger Feder treads ahead

It was not easy, but the Swiss found a way, as he so often does!
It was not easy, but the Swiss found a way, as he so often does!

Onto the evening session – first up it was defending champion Roger Federer who took on Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and got himself into another battle, scraping through with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 scoreline to reach the last eight.

Federer started the match with aggression but wobbled in the third game, where he faced a break point. However, the Swiss reeled off eight points in a row with offensive baseline play to lead 4-1 in the set.

Soon after, he closed the set 6-3 without much fuss, in just half an hour.

Federer carried his momentum into the second set by breaking immediately and just when it looked like another routine win for him over the Spaniard, Bautista Agut upped his level of play and broke Federer twice in a row to leap to a 4-1.

The Spaniard then broke Federer yet again with some impressive play, raining down forehand winners to take his first set against the Swiss in 18 attempts, taking the match to a decider.

The decider started with both players saving a breakpoint on their opening service game.

After that, both players played well on serve, as he did against Daniil Medvedev yesterday, Federer put a lot of pressure on Bautista Agut’s service game, going for his shots to get the all-important break. He served out to love the very next game to win another tight encounter.

In the quarters, he will face Kei Nishikori, who defeated Sam Querrey 7-6(7), 6-4 with an impressive performance.


Juan Martin del Potro succumbs to a defeat

The Argentine is out of the Shanghai Masters with yet another injury
The Argentine is out of the Shanghai Masters with yet another injury

For the last match of the day, it was Borna Coric who took on an ailing Juan Martin Del Potro, who became worse as he injured his right knee towards the end of the first set and was forced to retire after losing it 5-7.

Both players looked pretty comfortable on their serve in the early stages, despite Del Porto struggling with the flu and Borna dealing with a thigh problem.

Then, at 4-5, Del Potro took a nasty fall, with the right knee taking its impact.

While the Argentine continued after a little word with his physio, the aftermath of his fall was very much evident in his movement. He was broken in the very next game.

Del Potro then took the medical timeout, getting his knee heavily taped in an attempt to subside the pain. However, it didn’t seem to help much, as he was forced to retire after a game. As a result, Coric moved through to the quarterfinal.

In the quarters, the Croat will face Matthew Ebden, who advanced to just his second Masters 1000 quarterfinals with an easy win over Peter Gojowczyk – 6-2, 6-3.


Shanghai Masters 2018 Quarter-Finals Line Up:

[11] Kyle Edmund v [4] Alexander Zverev

[7] Kevin Anderon v [2] Novak Djokovic

[13] Borna Coric v Matthew Ebden

[1] Roger Federer v [8] Kei Nishikori


 

 

 

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Mridul Bhasin
CONTRIBUTOR
Tennis enthusiast
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