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Federer, del Potro, Zverev all win at Shanghai Masters

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SHANGHAI — Roger Federer had to overcome a second-set stutter. Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev had to overcome illness.

All three still advanced at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

Federer, the defending champion, beat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the second round despite being broken late in the second set.

“I was able to mix it up. Really also took some chances, serve and volley, second serve,” the top-seeded Federer said. “In the third set I really started to figure it out, as well, how aggressive or how tactical I wanted to make the match. And by trying everything, I found a solution at the end, which was a great feeling to have.”

The third-seeded del Potro trailed in the first set and in the tiebreaker but rebounded both times to beat Richard Gasquet 7-5, 7-6 (7).

“It wasn’t easy to play for me today,” said del Potro, who reached the China Open final last week. “I did what I can. I didn’t run too much. But I think I played with all my strength in the important moment of the match.

“I would love to feel better,” he added. “I have been talking with the doctors every day.”

The fourth-seeded Zverev was also struggling with a cold, but he beat Nicoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 6-4.

Basilashvili arrived in Shanghai after beating del Potro in Beijing to win his second career title.

“I played an opponent who has a lot of confidence,” Zverev said. “Obviously he’s playing the best tennis of his life, winning in Beijing, and obviously he had a very good match yesterday, as well.

“He knows how to play, definitely. Probably the hardest-hitting player I have ever played against.”

Zverev is playing in Shanghai without his coach, Ivan Lendl, who was in Beijing last week. Lendl flew back to the United States to have wrist surgery, which Zverev said was caused by playing too much golf. Lendl is due to return to the tour before the end of the season.

Earlier, 10th-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (8) – the second straight year that the Greek player has defeated Khachanov in the second round in Shanghai.

“We played here last year and it was the place I got my first ATP win,” Tsitsipas said. “I knew today was going to be a different match. I played every single point as if there was no tomorrow.”

Joao Souza provisionally suspended

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LONDON — Brazilian tennis player Joao Souza has been provisionally suspended again amid a corruption investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.

Souza had already been provisionally suspended on March 29 but was reinstated on April 8 following a successful appeal.

The TIU says that the provisional suspension has been put back in place “following consideration of additional evidence submitted by the TIU,” adding that no more appeals will be accepted.

No further details were given for the reason of the suspension.

The 30-year old Souza is currently ranked No. 422, having reached a career-high of No. 69 in 2015.

Also in 2015, Souza played in the longest Davis Cup singles match ever, losing to Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 15-13 in the fifth set after 6 hours, 42 minutes.

The TIU is a joint initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation and the ATP and the WTA tours.

Medvedev shocks Djokovic to reach Monte Carlo semis

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MONACO – An erratic Novak Djokovic suffered a surprise 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 defeat against Daniil Medvedev in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals Friday.

The 10th-seeded Russian was appearing in the last eight of a Masters tournament for the first time but was not overawed. In fact, it was the top-ranked Djokovic who made the most mistakes. The two-time champion looked out of sorts in tricky conditions and produced 47 unforced errors.

“On a windy day like today, conditions are changing every game,” Djokovic said. “It’s tough to find rhythm and he doesn’t give you much rhythm. He was very patient and played well tactically.”

After failing to serve out the match, when his Serbian opponent broke back to 5-2 down, Medvedev broke for the fifth time to seal a memorable victory.

Djokovic double-faulted at 30-30 to give Medvedev his first match point and a backhand winner secured a first win against his top-ranked rival at the fourth attempt, and a first victory against a No. 1.

“It was amazing,” Medvedev said. “He played worse than before and I am gaining more experience. He was not so good in the first set and made a lot of mistakes.”

Medvedev twice had his thighs massaged during changeovers in the third set. “Cramp didn’t affect my game,” he said.

The 23-year-old Monaco resident next faces the unseeded Dusan Lajovic, who also reached a Masters semi for the first time when he beat Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5.

Lajovic has not dropped a set at the clay-court event and is more surprised than anybody.

“I didn’t expect this. I was sick before the tournament and taking antibiotics,” the 28-year-old Serb said. “But it’s the best week of my career.”

The same goes for the 23-year-old Medvedev, who is ranked 14 and is chasing a fifth career title.

He had lost the three previous matches against Djokovic, including a tough four-setter in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open.

“In Australia he was at his best, but I made him run for his win there,” said Medvedev.

Djokovic won that tournament to secure a third straight Grand Slam title and 15th overall, moving two behind Nadal and five adrift of Roger Federer’s record haul of 20.

But Djokovic has now failed to reach the last four in three straight tournaments, after also falling short at Indian Wells and Miami.

“I am lacking that determination to go for shots on some points,” he said.

At times it looked like Djokovic would take control and he clinched the second set with two aces. But his shot-making was below its usual high standards and his drop shot rarely worked.

Nadal has won at Monte Carlo a record 11 times. The second-ranked Spaniard plays the unseeded Guido Pella of Argentina later.

The other match is between No. 9 Borna Coric of Croatia and No.13 Fabio Fognini of Italy.