Reigning champion Novak Djokovic (Player Bio) continued his recent winning streak by claiming a straight sets victory against Fabio Fognini (Player Bio) in the third round of Shanghai Rolex Masters. The top seed hardly put a foot wrong during the match in which he won 79% of first serve and 77% of second serve points. He converted the single break point of the opener in the fourth game to eventually move one nil ahead and maintained the high level of play in the second set as well. The nervous Italian – he was issued a warning by the umpire after the third game – was still unable to create a break point opportunity, whilst Nole took advantage of his mistakes to go a set and a break up at 3-1. The Serb champion had a triple match point in his hands at 5-3 and while Fognini rescued two of them, he netted a backhand in the subsequent rally and allowed the favorite to win 6-3, 6-3
Djokovic’s anticipated quarter-final meeting with Roger Federer (Player Bio) has fallen through as the fifth seed Swiss suffered another disappointing loss – he was beaten by 42nd-ranked Frenchman Gael Monfils (Player Bio). The latter got rather close to wrapping up the match in straight sets, yet FedEx broke back quickly in the second set and squeezed into the decider by narrowly winning the tie-break. He could not capitalize on the momentum shift though and found himself on the brink of defeat as the French player almost escaped to 5-1 in the decider. Federer then wasted a couple of break points at 4-2 which has proved to be crucial – Monfils was ruthless when serving for the match as he opened the service game with a couple of aces before holding to love and sealing a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory.
“It’s a good win for me,” said Monfils. “I feel a bit sorry for him because I know he’s running for London. But it’s tennis. He’s going to have more opportunity those weeks coming up. He’s still strong. It’s just a matter of confidence, I think. I have no doubt that he will get back to the way people expect him [to play].”
Another seeded player to exit Shanghai was David Ferrer (Player Bio) who, surprisingly, did not stand much chance against World no. 50 Florian Mayer (Player Bio). The German broke in the opening game to eventually serve out the opener and acquired a double break cushion by 4-1 in the second set. Some hope emerged for the seed number three Spaniard as he pegged one back, but his quarter-final dream was finally crushed when he gave away his third serve of the set. Mayer advanced by winning 6-4, 6-3 – he will now try to upset seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Player Bio) who eliminated Kei Nishikori (Player Bio) by grabbing the first-set breaker and blowing away the twelfth-seeded Japanese in the set number two to defeat him 7-6 (5), 6-0.