Roger Federer fended off dogged Diego Schwartzman to labour into the third round of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.
World No 2 Federer, to the delight of his sizeable Chinese fan club in red T-shirts and painted faces, got the better of Argentina’s Schwartzman 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.
Federer shows no sign of giving up the chase but had to battle hard against Schwartzman, letting slip a break in the first set to get dragged into a tiebreak.
The 36-year-old Swiss always had an extra shot in his locker though and, having taken the opener, broke serve straight away in the second set to move towards victory.
He finished off the contest with his 14th ace, setting up another potential banana skin against Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round after he defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 6-4.
“It was a good win, very happy with my first match,” Federer told Sky Sports. “I knew he was dangerous. I could have closed the first set out earlier but I started the second set very well. Overall, I’m very happy.”
And on facing an unorthodox Dolgopolov next, the Swiss added: “I know Dolgopolov very well – he’s a good guy. He’s always got great energy and shows it on the court.
“He’s had some issues with his injuries lately, like at Wimbledon when he retired against me, but I think this court is perfect for him. The slider on his serve must work very well here. He’s also fast and returns hard and deep so it will be a big test for me.”
Sky Sports Tennis will have all the action from the Shanghai Masters before we head to the Erste Bank Open and Swiss Indoors Basel and then the Paris Masters.
The Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and season-ending extravaganza World Tour Finals at London’s O2 in November end another memorable year which will be covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs and updates as the season reaches its climax.
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