The top four seeds will take to Center Court at the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Thursday for third-round matches against familiar foes. No. 1 seed and two-time champion Roger Federer is 7-0 in matches and 16-0 in sets against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, including a 6-4, 6-2 victory in the Shanghai third round four years ago. With Federer sidelined in 2016, Bautista Agut advanced to the biggest final of his career in Shanghai by defeating then-World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4.
View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the following match-ups at the Rolex Shanghai Masters and vote for the players you think will win!
Federer v Bautista Agut | Djokovic v Cecchinato | Del Potro v Coric | Zverev v de Minaur
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Despite dominating Bautista Agut in their seven meetings, Federer says that he won’t be taking the Spaniard lightly. “I saw he was struggling today against a friend of mine, Mackie [McDonald]. I saw he was down 6-3, 4-2, in trouble, so great fight back for him. I’m sure the end to the match gave him a lot of confidence for tomorrow. That’s good for him,” Federer said.
“I have a lot of respect for him. He’s just a tough guy. So you have to bring it. Could be similar like today. A lot of long rallies potentially, but maybe because he doesn’t serve as big as Medvedev, maybe I can take bigger cuts at the ball earlier. I’m excited playing Roberto. I like his demeanor. He’s a great fighter. I like playing against those kind of players.”
Djokovic has won 14 straight tour-level matches and 27 of 29 overall since losing to then-No. 72 Marco Cecchinato in the Roland Garros quarter-finals on 5 June. They meet again on Thursday with Djokovic eyeing a return to No. 2 and Cecchinato ranked a career-high No. 21. The playing surface in Shanghai suits the Serbian. Djokovic is 527-99 and Cecchinato is 4-11 lifetime on hard courts. With another upset, Cecchinato would join Hall-of-Famer Marat Safin (2-0) and World No. 38 Nick Kyrgios (2-0) as the only players to post multiple wins and no losses against Djokovic.
The youngest quarter-finalist in Rolex Shanghai Masters history was a 21-year-old Kei Nishikori in 2011. Alex de Minaur (19), Stefanos Tsitsipas (20) and Alexander Zverev (21) all have a chance to break that record on Thursday. Zverev and de Minaur meet on Center Court with the German leading their rivalry 2-0. Tsitsipas is also 2-0 against his opponent, No. 7 seed Kevin Anderson. No. 3 seed Juan Martin del Potro and No. 13 seed Borna Coric conclude play in a rematch of the US Open on 2 September. Del Potro won 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 en route to his second Grand Slam final.