Roger Federer continued his pursuit of a second Shanghai Rolex Masters title with a straightforward 6-4, 6-2 win on Thursday evening against the lone qualifier to advance to the third round, Alexandr Dolgopolov.
“I felt good in the first match, I must tell you,” said Federer of his opening victory over Diego Schwartzman in which he broke on two of eight opportunities. “So I felt, I think, the same. I think maybe the matchup was maybe a bit easier and I took my chances more. Had a better ratio of winning on the break points that I didn’t quite have against Schwartzman. That’s maybe the biggest difference of both matches, so I’m happy I was able to do better today on the break points.”
He took three of seven break opportunities against Dolgopolov, and the Swiss was never significantly challenged in the match, facing just one break point, as he served for the first set. But when the Ukrainian made an error down break point at 2-2 in the second set, the finish line came into sight, and Federer then broke again in a 19-point game at 4-2 to allow him to serve for the match, which he did without a hitch.
Federer advances to his fourth quarter-final in six appearances in Shanghai. Each time he has made it that far at the event, he has continued to at least the semi-finals.
The No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, who has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, is seeking his sixth title of the season, which would tie Rafael Nadal for the ATP World Tour lead.
The 36 year old will next play Richard Gasquet, against whom he has a 15-2 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head. Federer has not lost to the Frenchman since 2011 in Rome, with the other defeat coming in 2005 (Monte Carlo).
“I like playing Gasquet on fast courts,” Federer said. “I hope I can again put in a similar performance like today.”
Gasquet advanced to the quarter-final with a back-and-forth 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-3 victory over compatriot Gilles Simon in two hours and 40 minutes.
It appeared that the 31 year old would quickly extend his FedEx ATP Head2Head over Simon to 7-0 when he broke to lead 3-1 in the second set, but his 32-year-old opponent fought back to force a decider. While Simon broke immediately in the third set to gain the advantage, Gasquet then broke twice in a row and held on to earn a spot in his first Shanghai quarter-final.
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