Federer joins Djokovic in Shanghai quarterfinals

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SHANGHAI — Roger Federer saved five set points in the first set as he scrambled to a 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over 13th-seeded David Goffin on Thursday and advanced to the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals.

Second-seeded Federer holds a 10-1 winning record against Goffin, including all three matches they’ve played this year.

Despite the outcome, Federer didn’t feel in control of their Round-of-16 game.

“I never really felt like I had the upper hand over David today,” Federer said. “I thought he took really a lot of good decisions, and he was super fast on his feet today, which I think made it really hard for me to get my freebies and winners off the baseline.”

Federer will play fifth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany on Friday in the quarterfinals.

Zverev beat Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-0, 7-6 (4) in the last match of the night. The German served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but couldn’t nail down the victory until the tiebreaker.

Earlier, John Isner served his 1,000th ace of the season but it wasn’t enough to stop defending champion Novak Djokovic from advancing with a 7-5, 6-3 win. Isner’s nine aces against Djokovic took him to 1,007 for the year.

Top-seeded Djokovic is on a 24-0 sets winning streak in Asia dating back to last year’s Shanghai Masters. He won his inaugural appearance at the Japan Open last week without losing a set.

“It’s always a big challenge returning the serve,” Djokovic said. “He’s got one of the biggest serves of all time.”

Djokovic will play sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the quarterfinals. Tsitsipas defeated Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev continued his quest to reach a sixth consecutive ATP tour final after beating Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7), 7-5.

Medvedev’s frustration got the better of him when Pospisil led 4-2, 40-30 in the first set, which led to him smashing his racket repeatedly into the ground at the baseline.

“I usually don’t like to do it, to break the rackets, because it’s never beautiful,” Medvedev said. “But it’s true that sometimes it maybe can help to get some emotions out and get also the stress out.”

Third-seeded Medvedev, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open in September, leads the tour this year with 56 victories. He next plays 10th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy in the quarterfinals.

“I think (he’s) the worst player I can play at the moment,” Fognini said of Medvedev. “He’s really dangerous.”

Fognini beat seventh-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-3, 7-5. Khachanov had won their first career meeting in three sets at the China Open quarterfinals in Beijing.

“I’m happy because I was losing to him last week and I was playing really good also,” 10th-seeded Fognini said.

Fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria beat No. 15 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-4 and next faces 11th-seeded Matteo Berrettini.

Berrettini outlasted eighth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-4.

U.S. sweeps Uzbekistan, advances to group stage in Davis Cup

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The United States swept its way into the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, getting the winning point in a 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan from the doubles team of Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek.

They beat Sergey Fomin and Sanjar Fayziev 6-2, 6-4, after Tommy Paul and Mackenzie McDonald had won singles matches in Tashkent.

Ram is No. 3 in the ATP Tour doubles rankings and partnered with Joe Salisbury to win the last two U.S. Open men’s doubles titles. But the Americans opted not to use Ram last year in the final round, when they dropped the doubles match in a 2-1 defeat against Italy in the quarterfinals.

Krajicek was making his Davis Cup debut, having reached No. 9 in the doubles rankings late last year.

“They had five great days of preparation, and as anticipated they came out really sharp and got the early break in the first set. And after that it was like two freight trains, there was no stopping them,” interim captain David Nainkin said.

Denis Kudla then beat Amir Milushev 6-4, 6-4.

The winners of the 12 qualifiers being held this weekend advance to the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September, along with reigning champion Canada, 2022 runner-up Australia and wild-card recipients Italy and Spain.

Eight teams will advance to the closing matches of the Davis Cup Finals scheduled for Nov. 21-26 in Malaga, Spain.

In other matches:

France 3, Hungary 2: On indoor hard courts in Tatabanya, Hungary, Ugo Humbert won it for the French with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Fabian Marozsan. Adrian Mannarino had forced the deciding match by beating Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Serbia 4, Norway 0: On indoor hard courts in Oslo, the visitors, playing without top-ranked Novak Djokovic, put away the match when Filip Krajinovic and Nikola Cacic edged Viktor Durasovic and Herman Hoeyeraal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Hamad Medjedovic then outlasted Durasovic 6-4, 6-7, 10-4.

Sweden 3, Bosnia 1: On indoor hard courts in Stockholm, Mikael Ymer sent the hosts through by beating Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

Lesia Tsurenko to face Zhu Lin in Thailand Open final

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HUA HIN, Thailand — Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine reached her first final in four years after the top-seeded Bianca Andreescu retired with a shoulder injury during their semifinal match at the Thailand Open.

Tsurenko, in search of her fifth WTA title, was leading the 2019 U.S. Open champion 7-5, 4-0 when the Canadian stopped playing.

The former world No. 23 fought from 3-5 down to take the first set and reeled off eight straight games before Andreescu retired with a right shoulder problem.

“Bianca is such an amazing player. She is capable of hitting all kinds of shots and gave so much trouble today,” said the 33-year-old Tsurenko, now ranked 136th. “But I was just fighting and I told myself positive things that I can do it. Unfortunately, she had to retire.”

The Ukrainian last lifted a WTA trophy in Acapulco in 2018 and hasn’t been to a final since Brisbane in 2019.

She will face Zhu Lin of China in the final.

“She had some good wins in the Australian Open,” Tsurenko said. “She is one of the dangerous players in this tournament. She is going to give a good fight.”

In the all-Chinese semifinal earlier, Zhu benefited from a barrage of unforced errors from Wang Xinyu and prevailed 6-2, 6-4 for her first WTA final.

The world No. 54 player, who reached the last 16 at the Australian Open in January, relied on her solid baseline game to force errors.

“It was very windy, so I tried to be patient and keep my first serves in,” said the 29-year-old Zhu, who will team up with Wang in the doubles final against Hao-Ching Chan and Fang-Hsien Wu of Taiwan.