Shanghai - Roger Federer crashed out of the Shanghai Masters on Thursday at the
hands of flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils - another damaging defeat
in a miserable season for the Swiss great.
Monfils went toe-to-toe
with the 17-time Grand Slam champion during a feast of attacking
tennis, eventually emerging on top 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3.
playing his first tournament since the US Open, started in the worst
possible way, limply losing his first service game to immediately hand
the initiative to Monfils, who went on to take the opener.
vocal support from a partisan crowd, Federer was broken midway through
the second set but he broke back, sealing the game with an overhead
Monfils, clad in bright orange, drew first blood in the
tie-break but crucially put a relatively straightforward forehand long
when he had a chance to engineer match points, allowing Federer back
into the set and the Swiss made no mistake.
With both players
sticking to a plan of all-out attack, Monfils grabbed the initiative,
breaking to take a 3-1 lead and managed to save the break points that
Federer carved out before going on to seal the match.
made early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open, came to Shanghai seeking
much-needed points as he bids to reach next month's World Tour Finals,
which he has won a record six times.
Earlier, seventh seed
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brushed aside Kei Nishikori to reach the
quarter-finals as Juan Martin del Potro progressed with a walkover.
powerful Tsonga had a battle on his hands early on against the Japanese
12th seed but came out on top in a first-set tie-break and romped
through the second set without losing a single game to record a
comfortable 7-6 (7/5), 6-0 victory.
Nishikori broke in the third
game but Tsonga - chasing a berth at November's end-of-season showpiece
in London - returned the favour and went on to take the tie-break.
The second set was one-way traffic, with Tsonga winning 24 out of 30 points as Nishikori faded badly.
Potro, who is also chasing a place in the elite field in London,
reached the last eight without even picking up a racquet after German
veteran Tommy Haas withdrew from their match with a back injury.
US Open champion Del Potro, who won the Japan Open on Sunday, was
waiting to take to the court but returned to the locker room when told
the 35-year-old 11th seed had withdrawn.
Elsewhere in third round action, Spanish third seed David Ferrer beat Germany's Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-3.
top three seeds in Shanghai, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Ferrer,
have already qualified for the Tour Finals, which feature the season's
top eight players. Del Potro is fifth in the Race to London, just behind
Ferrer.Results on the fifth day of the Shanghai Masters on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Roger Federer (SUI x5) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3
David Ferrer (ESP x3) bt Florian Mayer (GER) 6-4, 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x7) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN x12) 7-6 (7/5), 6-0
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x6 ) bt Tommy Haas (GER x11) walkover