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Federer vs Bautista Agut tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Defending Shanghai champion Federer a perfect 7-0 vs Spaniard

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 10 Oct 2018
  • Roger Federer continues his Shanghai Masters title defense against Roberto Bautista Agut
  • Federer vs Bautista Agut is live from Shanghai on Thursday at 6pm local/11am BST
Roger Federer (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)

After being tested and surviving in his opening match, Roger Federer continues his Rolex Shanghai Masters title defense as he takes on former finalist Roberto Bautista Agut.

Defending champion Roger Federer faces Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round of the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Thursday.

Federer, who is looking for his first Masters 1000 Series title since winning Shanghai last October when he beat Rafael Nadal in the final, is not just trying to defend his title at the penultimate Masters 1000 Series event of the year but also his world no. 2 ranking – which he can only retain if he wins the title and three-time champion Novak Djokovic does not reach the final.

Federer had to work hard against Daniil Medvedev  (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)
Returning to ATP World Tour competition for the first time since losing in the round of 16 at the US Open to John Millman – although he has played Laver Cup in the intervening time – Federer is beginning the final stretch of the season, which in addition to his Shanghai points also means defending his Basel title and Nitto ATP Finals semifinal points. 

And after some scratchy results by his meteoric standards, including the Millman defeat, a Wimbledon loss to Kevin Anderson after leading by two sets, and a straight-sets defeat by Djokovic in the Cincinnati final, a strong finish to the season would not go amiss for the world no. 2. 

Federer was well-tested in his Rolex Shanghai Masters opener by Daniil Medvedev, the rising Russian who came in full of confidence and playing very well after capturing his third and biggest title of 2018 at the Rakuten Japan Open last week where he beat Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori, among others. Federer broke serve to open but couldn’t hold on to the advantage and although he ultimately took the first set, it was a struggle. With Medvedev’s serve doing a lot of damage, as were his groundstrokes, Federer looked a bit unsettled and the Russian took the second set. 

The decider went with serve until 4-4, but Federer started to take a more aggressive approach despite being sporadically punished by some very good passing shots and lob attempts from Medvedev, and it was the Russian who blinked first, making consecutive unforced errors at 4-4 to be broken. Federer served out the match, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. 

‘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, so I was very happy,’ Federer said.

Defeat by Medvedev would have been demoralizing, but having toughed out that win should stand Federer in good stead for the rest of the week and the quick courts in Shanghai should suit him too. 

Next up for Federer is Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish veteran who had one of the best results of his career at the Rolex Shanghai Masters in 2016 when he beat defending champion Djokovic in the semifinals to reach his first and only Masters 1000 Series final, which he lost to Andy Murray.

Roberto Bautista Agut  (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)
Bautista Agut made a very fine start to the season when he won two titles in the first three months, first defeating Juan Martin del Potro to win the ASB Classic in Auckland in January (although he was unfortunate to draw Fernando Verdasco in the first round of the Australian Open) before winning the eighth and biggest title of his career at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in early March. 

But the 30-year-old Spaniard struggled in the clay season as his mother Ester died just days before the French Open began. Bautista Agut played regardless, reaching the third round before losing to Djokovic, but has played just six events since Roland Garros. He made the semifinals of Halle but missed Wimbledon and only played one event – finishing runner-up on clay in Gstaad – before losing in the first round of the US Open. 

The Spaniard has got back to a fuller schedule in recent weeks, playing Davis Cup then the St Petersburg Open where he made the semifinals, and losing in the first round of the China Open last week to Alexander Zverev. He opened his Rolex Shanghai Masters campaign with a straight-sets win over Andrey Rublev before coming back from a set down to beat young Mackenzie McDonald, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. 

‘I have a lot of respect for him. He's just a tough guy, you know. So you have to bring it. Could be similar like today. A lot of long rallies potentially,’ Federer said.

In actuality, all seven of Federer’s previous meetings with Bautista Agut have been won by the Swiss without even dropping a set, including a clash at the Shanghai Masters itself back in 2014. Bautista Agut doesn’t really have the artillery to hurt Federer and it would need to be a pretty error-strewn and low-energy display from the top seed for him to lose this one – and despite a competitive encounter against Medvedev, that isn’t what one usually expects from the two-time Shanghai champion. 

Federer vs Bautista Agut Shanghai Masters third-round tennis is live from Shanghai on Thursday at 6pm local/11am BST

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Federer vs Bautista Agut tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Defending Shanghai champion Federer a perfect 7-0 vs Spaniard

Roger Federer vs Roberto Bautista Agut live streaming, preview and predictions for the Shanghai Masters third-round match on Thursday 10 October 2018: After a testing opener against Daniil Medvedev, Federer should reach the quarterfinals without too much drama

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