Roger Federer reached the quarterfinals at Shanghai 2018 after a close 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 victory over former finalist Roberto Bautista Agut in one hour and 52 minutes. Federer had won the previous seven meetings against the Spaniard and 17 sets in a row, including his first in this clash before Bautista Agut raised the bar on him in set number two to dominate the return and leave Roger far behind. Still, the Swiss lost five points on serve in the deciding set and advanced with a late break in the ninth game. Federer won two more points than Bautista Agut, serving well in the sets he won to keep his rival under pressure and converting three of nine break points to close out the victory in just under two hours. The Swiss fired 37 winners and 35 unforced errors, topping his rival’s 23-24 ratio and taking victory in the mid-range and more extended rallies. Interestingly, Roberto had the advantage in the shortest points up to four strokes, but it was not enough to lead him to the first victory over the great rival in eight games. Roger saved a break opportunity in the third game of the first game with a service winner and earned a break in the next when Bautista Agut sent a clear right hand down the line. The Swiss confirmed the break and the first set was in his hands after a winning volley at 5-3. Federer took a big step towards the finish line when he converted the third break opportunity early in the second set, the one that would soon turn out to be a disaster for him!
Ljubicic talks about Roger Federer
Roger Federer’s coach, Ivan Ljubicic, recently provided an update on the 40-year-old’s recovery process, revealing that the Swiss legend plans to return to the tour next year. “We will see Roger next year,” Ljubicic said. “I don’t know when exactly, but he is undergoing rehabilitation. He’s recovering slowly, he’s in no hurry.” Ivan Ljubicic, who is also Matteo Berrettini’s manager, expressed his desire to see the Italian do well in the ATP Finals since it is a home event for him. “An Italian who plays the Finals in Italy is truly fantastic,” Ljubicic said. “It is a particular group tournament, you have to win at least a couple of games to pass, it will be great. We hope that Matteo will go on as much as possible, to see him in the final on Sunday 21st.”