Federer battles past Goffin into Shanghai Masters quarters

David Goffin offered stern opposition to Roger Federer, but the 20-time grand slam champion battled to victory at the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer in action at the Shanghai Masters.   -  Getty Images

Roger Federer was pushed to the limit by David Goffin as the world number three battled through to the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters.

Backed by vociferous support from the crowd, Federer was firmly tested by Goffin but the 38-year-old eventually came out on top 7-6(9-7), 6-4 on Thursday.

While fellow favourite Novak Djokovic cruised through his tie with John Isner, Federer was far from at his sharpest, with world number 14 Goffin capitalising on some rusty play from the veteran in the opening set.

Goffin squandered a break point as Federer laboured to a hold of serve in the third game, though the Belgian had to save a set point at 4-5 down.

The momentum seemed to have swung in Goffin's favour when he broke to take a 6-5 lead but the second seed responded in style, forcing the tie-break with a delicate lob at the culmination of a thrilling rally.

An arduous first set was finally settled after Goffin failed to land a shot down the line - Federer planting a firm cross-court forehand to clinch the lead. 

Both players passed up break points throughout the early exchanges of another attritional set, though Federer took the upper hand when Goffin sent a weak effort into the net.

With Federer holding the next game with ease, Goffin served brilliantly to stay in the match.

It was to no avail, though, a cushioned drop shot setting the 20-time grand slam champion up to serve out a hard-fought victory with an ace.

The world number three will face Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals.

 

- Federer counts himself lucky after beating Goffin -

Roger Federer conceded he had more than his fair share of good fortune in his Shanghai Masters win over David Goffin.

"It was tough," said the 20-time grand slam champion. "He served for the set at 6-5. We both had chances but he probably had a few more I must admit.

"I had to play some very accurate shots and it went very close to the lines. They could easily have gone another way, I know that.

"I was a bit fortunate to win that first set but I played okay and I fought extremely hard.

"Sometimes it falls your way. I have had a good season and served well at the end.

"The first set was certainly crucial to put me in the lead."