ATP Shanghai Masters R3: Roger Federer vs Gael Monfils Preview

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To the relief of the thousands in attendance on Stadium court at the Shanghai Rolex Masters 2013, Roger Federer (Player Bio) was able to get past his opening round challenge against Italy’s Andreas Seppi and advance the third round, where he will continue his campaign for a 22nd career Masters 1000 title against French entertainer Gael Monfils (Player Bio). Check out the Federer vs Monfils Head to Head.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion comfortably defeated Seppi 6-4, 6-3 in his first match back since an astonishing fourth round exit to Tommy Robredo at the US Open. It was a rough start for Federer, who was broken at 3-2 yet quickly recovered his break and followed up with some great shot making to snatch the set 6-4. His performance today comes as a relief as his inability to win big matches saw him drop to a low of No. 7 heading into the Shanghai Rolex Masters. He has compiled a 19-6 record on hard court and a 11-4 record in Masters 1000 tournaments. Yet currently, the Swiss legend appears motivated to contest for the remaining valuable points to qualify for the World Tour Finals, one of his only goals since the start of the season. A win here in Shanghai would certainly get the ball rolling again for Federer.

Monfils defeated Tatsuma Ito 6-3 6-2 to advance to the second round here in Shanghai. He met Canadian no. 2 Vasek Pospisil earlier today, who he also dismantled in straight sets to set up a third round clash with Roger Federer. The Frenchman is looking to redeem himself for some disappointing losses over the past few weeks, particularly in Tokyo. where he lost in the opening round to fellow countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. His performances so far this week marks his best showing in a Masters tournament this year. The world No. 42 is 30-19 in overall competition in 2013, with a 2-1 record in Masters events.

The two competitors previously met on 7 different occasions, with Roger besting Gael in six of those encounters. They have not met since a quarterfinal clash in Roland Garros back in 2011 and are 1-1 in their last two outings, with Monfils beating Federer at the Paris Masters in 2010 – the last hard court match between them in nearly three years.  A motivated Federer is an intimidating opponent for any player on the tour, yet his recent vulnerability is undeniable and Monfils will be looking to take advantage of a potentially weaker Federer in their encounter tomorrow.

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