Federer says 'special' fans inspired him to reach Shanghai quarters
Roger Federer celebrates after beating David Goffin on Thursday. (AFP)
Shanghai - The Swiss defeated David Goffin 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 after the 13th seed from Belgium squandered five set points in the first set
Roger Federer said that his devoted band of Chinese supporters helped pull him through a tough first set and into the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals on Thursday.
The Swiss defeated David Goffin 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 after the 13th seed from Belgium squandered five set points in the first set.
The 38-year-old Federer plays Alexander Zverev after the young German beat Andrey Rublev of Russia, 6-0, 7-6 (7/4).
"I never really felt like I had the upper hand against David today," said the 20-time Grand Slam winner, who looked unusually flustered at times.
Federer was regularly serenaded by chants of "Roger, Roger, go go go" by local supporters all sitting together in one part of the arena. All were decked out in red.
Federer, who failed to win a Grand Slam this year, said their backing had been key to his revival.
"It's definitely very special here because they all sit in one block, sort of like in football to some extent, which is highly unusual for tennis and a tennis tournament," he said.
World number one Novak Djokovic made light work of American John Isner and plays promising 21-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the last eight.
The defending champion from Serbia dismissed the 16th seed Isner 7-5, 6-3 in 74 minutes after taming Isner's booming serve.
Also in the last eight on Friday, colourful Italian Fabio Fognini faces red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev.
The fourth-ranked Medvedev was forced to sweat - and not just because of the Shanghai heat - after being 5-2 down in the first set to Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil.
The 23-year-old Medvedev eventually squeezed through 7-6 (9/7), 7-5.