ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererShanghai Masters

Federer Comes Through Goffin Test to Make Shanghai Quarters

The Swiss saved 5 set points in the first set to progress 7-6(7), 6-4

Roger Federer is through to the Quarter Finals at the Rolex Shanghai Masters 1000 after coming through a high-quality encounter against David Goffin on Thursday evening.

The Swiss had to save five set points in the opener but was ultimately too good as he prevailed 7-6(7), 6-4 in 1 hour and 54 minutes to move into his 87th ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

He will next face Sascha Zverev who defeated Andrey Rublev in the final match of the day at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena.

Quick Match Recap

Federer R16 Shanghai 2019

Goffin won the toss and elected to receive. The pair exchanged love holds to kick off the opening set, but in game three, Federer had to save a breakpoint before coming through an eighteen point game to finally hold for 2-1.

The Swiss then made a deuce of his own, aided by two double faults from Goffin, but the world number fourteen held to level at 2-2.

Game five saw Federer restore some order with a love hold, but it took some crisp ball-striking to hit past the speedy Goffin, who was playing at a very high tempo. Goffin kept the pattern going with a love hold of his own to level at 3-3.

At 40-0 in game seven, Roger had won nine straight points on serve, but the Belgian reeled off three of his own to make deuce before some smart serving gave Federer the hold for 4-3. Goffin's third love hold of the set saw him quickly level at 4-4.

A comfortable hold put Federer within one game of the first set, and he was able to get even closer to it with a set point, but Goffin saved it and went onto hold for 5-5.

The Belgian won the opening point of game eleven and was in with half a chance at 15-30. Federer made 30-30 but then lost his footing by slipping on a sweat patch on the court that gave Goffin breakpoint, and he converted with a passing shot to lead 6-5.

Could Goffin serve it out? A sick point gave Federer 15-30 and indicated David might have difficulties, but the Belgian won the next two to hold a set point. However, he couldn't convert, and after double-faulting on his second set point, plus missing a third, Federer broke back to force a tie break.

Into the breaker and a double fault gave Goffin the early mini-break for 1-0. Federer retrieved it but then got caught in two minds in the forecourt to miss a volley for 1-3.

Goffin won his next two service points to lead 5-2, but Roger came up with two excellent points to keep within touching distance at 4-5.

The Swiss then restored parity at 5-5 and could have done more with the pass on the next point, but Goffin was able to fashion his first set point. Roger saved it with a bullet inside out forehand clocked at 154km/h to save it. However, the Belgian wasn't backing off and a ripped cross-court backhand to lead 7-6.

A crazy point ensued with Fed finding the line before Goffin went wide with a backhand, Federer won the next to lead 8-7 and ripped in inside in forehand winner to take the opening set.

Into set two, and Goffin was immediately in trouble at 0-30, but Federer let him off the hook as he held for 1-0. 

In the next game, Roger slipped to 30-40 but recovered to level at 1-1, and in game three created a breakpoint of his own, winning three straight points from 15-40, but Goffin saved it and held to lead 2-1.

A love hold from the Swiss put him level at 2-2, and for the second time in the set, he had Goffin on the ropes at 0-30, but just like the first game, Goffin reeled off three points to hold game point at 40-30. The Belgian thought he'd escaped when a backhand down the line was called good, but Federer correctly challenged to make deuce and won the next to hold a breakpoint. However, Goffin saved it and fended off another deuce to hold for 3-2.

Into game six and the Swiss held to thirty to make 3-3, and in game seven, a couple of net cords caught Goffin out, as he dropped serve for 3-4. A love hold consolidated the break to put Federer one game away at 5-3.

Goffin held to force Federer to serve it out, hitting a one-handed backhand flicked pass which was arguably shot of the day but there were no slip-ups from the Swiss as he served it out to fifteen, bombing down an ace on match point to seal it.

Match Stats

Shanghai Masters 1000 Round 3 2019 David Goffin Roger Federer
Aces 2 8
Double Faults 3 1
1st Serve 55% (49/89) 72% (60/83)
1st Serve Points Won 59% (29/49) 72% (43/60)
2nd Serve Points Won 65% (26/40) 57% (13/23)
Break Points Saved 60% (3/5) 67% (2/3)
Service Games Played 11 11
1st Serve Return Points Won 28% (17/60) 41% (20/49)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 43% (10/23) 35% (14/40)
Break Points Converted 33% (1/3) 40% (2/5)
Return Games Played 11 11
Winners 19 30
Unforced Errors 30 40
Net Points Won 58% (7/12) 69% (20/29)
Service Points Won 62% (55/89) 67% (56/83)
Return Points Won 33% (27/83) 38% (34/89)
Total Points Won 48% (82/172) 52% (90/172)


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Shangai 19 Goffin

It was tough. He served for the set at 6-5. We both had chances but he probably had a few more I must admit. I had to play some very accurate shots and it went very close to the lines. They could easily have gone another way I know that. I was a bit fortunate to win that first set but I played ok and I fought extremely hard. Sometimes it falls your way. I have had a good season and served well at the end. The first set was certainly crucial to put me in the lead. Federer on his win over Goffin

A highly enjoyable match, and both guys played at such a high tempo, which made it great to watch. Goffin came out with an aggressive gameplan to try and get Federer off the baseline, but the Swiss was more than up to the task, giving up very little ground and going for all his shots.

The fact that both players were looking to take charge meant it was all about high-risk shotmaking, which is the best type of tennis to watch, and some of the plays Federer came up with were just immense. Drive backhand volleys that are so hard to execute were drilled into the corner, and that inside out forehand to save one of the set points in the tie break was top class. Flat, barely any margin, and 154 km/h. Boom!

Like the first match, Federer again had a good serving day landing 72% of first serves and faced just three breakpoints. I thought the key to the match was that he never let his level drop throughout both sets. It was up to Goffin to try and play above his station, which he managed in large parts of the match, but whenever Goffin's level dipped, Roger's was right there to take advantage. 

It could have quite easily gone three with so many close calls, shots just in and a couple of net cords helping Federer in the second set to break, but I thought Fed fully deserved the win as he made more stuff happen when it mattered and never really hesitated on the more significant points. 

Predictions vs. Zverev

Next up is Sascha Zverev who continued his improved post Laver Cup form with a straight-sets win over hard-hitting Andrey Rublev. The German comfortably won the first set before overcoming a second set blip getting broken when serving for it to eventually prevail in a tie break.

Zverev sealed the Laver Cup for Team Europe with a clutch tiebreaker against Raonic and then went on to make the semi-finals in Beijing so he's playing well and the H2H is tied at 3-3 against Roger.

The two have only met on outdoor hard courts once before with Zverev defeating an injured Federer in the Rogers Cup final in 2017 but I make Federer the favourite in Shanghai based on what I've seen of him so far.

Zverev is usually fired up to play Fed so it could be tricky but I think Fed will push him too far back behind the baseline to take a charge.

What did you guys think of the win against Goffin? Predictions vs Zverev? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

Related Articles


  1. Hah! I was bang on time, then, refreshing my page at 2:45. Only trouble was the browser wouldn’t play ball. Oh well, there are a few more chances for No. 1 spot before the end of the tennis year …

  2. Now, that’s really interesting. Watching the livescores and the stats only, I’d have guessed that Roger was below par! Glad he won, although it felt like a bit of a nervy match. And an 18-point game? How often does he get one of those? No wonder it took so long!

    1. What Nervy come on he was rolling back the clock those shots were breathtaking ! He fought through stop this negativity and give a 38 year old tennis player a break now and then ! Why do people keep forgetting he is no longer 28 and the opposition are school kids in comparison !

      1. I just said that was my impression going on the livescores and the stats, not that it actually was.

    1. 😂😂 I said (to myself) the very same thing. Has to make the highlights- Roger getting the challenge right.

  3. Well, to my taste he played some kind of average game, great shots with great errors too.
    The match was enjoyable, but Federer was too shaky with his forehand, very inconsistent (as usual by now).
    I’d like to think that this is his bottom level, and from now on he’ll just keep improving. The draw will get harder and harder, this could be a great opportunity for revenge (Zverev, Thiem and Đoković).

      1. Well, I saw another match then jaja.
        No surprise, it was like 7AM and it was my free day.

      2. In total agreement Jonathan , he was playing well!
        Clearly people are watching with one eye open elsewhere !

  4. Wow, what a win for Roger and me 🙂
    These matches are all at 3:30am, the worst possible time. I can watch later. Jonathan, looks like you were impressed with Fed’s game today! Well, it’s Zverev next….Roger’s new bromance.
    Seems like China is on a mission to have more and more tennis in their country.
    Geez, Pospisil,… had that match on a platter and blew it.

      1. Ha, It was Fed who was going for more money for quallies, early rounds, etc when he was on council.
        I think if you are the 150th best player on the planet, you should be able to make a decent living.
        The money for the win is ridiculous now. All the majors competing for who has the biggest money payout for the trophy holder.
        Now, Pospisil can eat caviar and champagne instead of peanut butter and jam while waiting for his flight.

      2. The money is just as good for early-round losers. Pospisil was talking 💩

        I think they should make the game a bit more accessible at the lower levels so more players can get on the ladder and have a go at making a living.

      3. Yes, I agree, it should be more accessible. The money has improved a lot recently, I believe.
        A reason Fed doesn’t want on court coaching is he said he can afford the best while his opponent might not be able to have a full time coach. Not an even playing field.
        Another thing is the empty stadiums all over the place. The tickets are so expensive at some events that a lot of people don’t have the funds.

    1. Bromance or business isn’t Zverev Team 8 now but they do relate well and are enjoyable to watch . Excellent match I at high level and its a fast court so more of a wild ride as things can change fast and why Alex you maybe see shaky? …the push for control, a tussle that as Fed said shots that could have gone wrong side of the line !
      Aside of the fall ( always concerning) I thoroughly enjoyed this match and matchup!
      Thanks Jonathan for the fast, crisp write up.

  5. I thought Goffin played really well but Fed managed to play even better on the day. The end of that first set was just nerve-wrecking but for once Fed came out on top unlike some other recent ties. It seemed like the match was played at a very high level and it was awesome to see Fed turn up the pace and keep at it. I agree with Jonathan that it was a good performance from Fed. Go Roger!

  6. What a match. Always a treat to watch Roger playing like this and Goffin worked hard to make Roger up his level. Again, the UFE stat was a lot worse than I thought, but just goes to show that those stats don’t mean much when both play aggressive tennis.
    Should be a win tomorrow as well, but could be 3. Roger will surely test Sasha’s net play by drawing him in and passing him.

  7. “A high-quality encounter…” “A highly enjoyable match…” “Fed fully deserved the win as he made more stuff happen when it mattered and never really hesitated on the more significant points. ” – Cool Jonathan, I missed the match 🙁 but thanks to your great summary, now looking forward to watching replay!

  8. Really fun match and great highlights to watch if you missed it. Pretty shot making by both, big clutch okay by Fed at crucial moments! That FH at 5-6 in the TB was incredible!
    Goffin always runs him pretty close and only his self doubt let him down end of 1st set.

    Looking forward to Zverev match. Can’t think Fed won’t expose his movement slightly on this speedy court . Allez

    1. Yeah, I don’t get why I was reading the match was a nightmare and Fed was poor. He played great. As I put on Twitter, if you look at groundstroke speeds, Goffin is always high up at every tournament he plays, he’s no mug.

  9. Incredibly well played from Goffin. He nearly deserved to have 1. set (and actually was a class better for long periods), but Roger made a few more very entertaining incredibilities to get it by 5 millimeters on the point before setpoint done.
    I think Rogers new treat to us is brilliant strong volleys to surprise and speed up. Wow for them! We otherwise see them more often in doubles, and I always enjoy that.

      1. Yes, I might agree in that. But aren’t some of the volleys a tad otherwise now, a bit further off the net, – ? (Or are they just video’ed otherwise here in Shanghai – ?)

  10. Hmm,well I am going to commit heresy and say this was not Fed at his best.Tons of unforced errors,squeaked it out in the first set tiebreak.Massively helped by Goffins lower first serve percentage.
    Fed himself seemed frustrated and fed up(sorry)
    An uncomfortable match to watch.Still a win is a win.
    Some great quarter final line ups tomorrow.
    Fed v Sascha,think Feds net play will triumph here.Really like Sascha,damned draw😊

  11. great match from both players. Happy Roger made it. The way he played today should give him confidence for the Zverev match. Miss the star rating Jonathan!

  12. Fed is 38 he can’t decimate every match any more but that was excellent and exciting ..a fast court two nimble skilled players too often we don’t get this closer encounter and when we do some say he didn’t play well, he did play well and if David wasn’t as mentally fragile v his idol in key points Fee would probably be out ! More of that fast court tennis please organisers !

  13. “The two have only met on outdoor hard courts once before” – They have met in the Hopman cup twice before federer prevailing in the 2019 championships and Zverev willing in the 2017 comeback edition.

      1. Oh? i thought they were counted thts a copy jono.

        And what is this you say? Hopman Cup returning to my city?! :DDD

        I’ve got tix to Espana V Japan as the Suisse decided on Syd

  14. Tighter than I thought it might be, good to see some wonderful moving & shot-making from both. That fall was pretty scary in the moment but apparently we’re being told the ankle-roll wasn’t as bad as it looked, hope that’s true. Agree w/ Alison that watching live comments/scores made me think Fed was having a harder time of it. Jonathan’s writeup gives a different perspective.

    I like the colors on the white shirt he wore today, but having seen them both I think I like the red one better since it counteracts the “big red square blob” effect.

    Sascha seems to have done a great job so far internalizing the lessons of Laver Cup, so I’ll hope for another good match, but that Fed is able to bring his greater experience to bear.

  15. I think he should play a lot less next year. Skip clay season, nothing to do there, then skip Shanghái too.
    ATP Cup, Australia, Dubai, Indian Wells, Halle, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, US Open, Basel, London.

    I’m worried he’ll be burn out with so many travels and exhos.

    1. Agree that it’s a challenge to find the right balance, but the way he talks about loving to,play in new places – I think that’s actually nourishing for him.

  16. I am at work right now and my collegue just asked me why I am not celebrating that Satan lost (yes, we call him Satan here :)).
    Well… because my hero still needs to win, so I am remaining quiet 🙂

  17. I am reading some tweets saying Roger didn’t deserve to win against David and that he doesn’t deserve to win against Sasha… maybe they are right…. maybe… but you know what….

    1. Headline: Fed comes up short in Shanghai. Or shits the bed in Shanghai. Inconsistent, not imposing, and pretty soundly beaten here. But, you can’t feel bad about this one, as he had no chances and didnt play well enough. At least novak is out too. Maybe fed can round into form one last time this year…i want novak!

      1. With Nole’s loss it seems that The King of Clay is going to end the year as No 1 for the 5th time.

      2. Not “king”. President!
        A president rises by being scrutinized as being better against his peers. A “king” receives the royalty status by parental inheritance. Nadal’s father was king of nothing, therefore Nadal is king of nothing. The same for the others.

      3. If that was so, then a clean defeat is acceptable, much better than a “with such brilliant points and general play, he should have won that, if it were not for that point, or that other shank, or that stupid missed volley or…”
        Moving on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button