Shanghai Masters: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer off to winning starts

Shanghai Masters: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer off to winning starts”

Roger Federer produced a flawless display in front of a partisan crowd at the Shanghai Rolex Masters to dispatch Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-4, 6-2, to ensure his place in the quarterfinals.

Top seed Nadal is chasing a seventh title this season, but a career-first Shanghai Masters.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion will now take a 9-3 head-to-head series lead into the third round against Italian Fabio Fognini, winning their two 2017 meetings in Miami and Madrid. It was potent enough to enable the 30-year-old German (and older brother of world No. 4 Alexander Zverev) to upset Andy Murray in the fourth-round of the Australian Open earlier this year.

Federer, who won the title in Shanghai in 2004, will play his opening match on Wednesday.

It's easy to forget that sports stars have family lives to maintain while trying to stay at the pinnacle of their discipline, but making time for his children despite a busy schedule is nothing less than we'd expect from one of the classiest guys in sport. "That was the only thing that was in my head". Then I played some good points, I think. "But there remains work to do". "You could see he was taking the right decisions on his groundstrokes". While the bulk of Federer's success can be attributed to his epochal genius, some of it might also owe indirectly to the unexpected struggles that befell those superb defenders Djokovic and Andy Murray. And when I was serving, the second serve was a big second serve too, no?

"Every point, you have to be ready".

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro needed all three sets to reach the second round, beating qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Top seed Nadal made only four unforced errors in another masterclass, hardly giving Fognini a look-in with a superb service display and breaking four times after piling the pressure on his unseeded opponent.

It didn't help Donaldson's case that he was coming apart without Nadal's aid-evidenced by the fact he had contributed five double faults, per surrendered his serve twice in each set. "This is something that is either going to happen or not going to happen", he said.

The 36-year-old returned to action in June when the grass court season began at the Eastbourne Open and went on to win further titles at Halle and a record eighth Wimbledon title.

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