For the first hour of his third-round match at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Thursday, Daniil Medvedev found himself with his back against the wall on multiple occasions. Yet, as he’s shown time and time again in recent months, Medvedev kept his head down under pressure, saving five set points en route to battling past Vasek Pospisil, 7-6 (7), 7-5.
Medvedev trailed 5-3 in the opening set and after breaking back, was soon facing a 0-40 defiicit. He clawed his way back to draw even and would eventually battle Pospisil in a tense tiebreaker. Plugging away as the aggressor with his forehand, the Canadian held a set point on his own serve at 6-5, but tightened up to double fault. On the contrary, when Medvedev earned his first chance to close out the set, he made sure it was all he needed.
Medvedev won nine of the first 10 points to open the second set, but was unable to consolidate his break advantage at 2-0. It enabled Pospisil, who was struggling with an illness, to find a second wind. The qualifier began to free back up on the baseline and held four break points at 3-3. Medvedev resorted to going for broke on both his first and second serve, a tactic that came to light when it paid dividends in his Cincinnati semifinal victory over Novak Djokovic. It worked out again in Medvedev's favor and he later broke from 40-15 down to avoid playing out a second tiebreaker.
The world No. 4 is bidding to reach his sixth successive final and add to triumphs at Cincinnati and St. Petersburg. As a result of his torrid stretch that began in late July at Washington, D.C., Medvedev clinched his place at the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. Now 56-17 on the year, Medvedev will face Fabio Fognini in the last eight Friday.
The world No. 12 defeated ninth-ranked Karen Khachanov, 6-3, 7-5, to reverse last week’s outcome in Beijing. Both players came into Shanghai on the outside looking in with the Race To London, though Fognini, who began the day at No. 13, was just 340 points behind No. 7 Roberto Bautista Agut. The Spaniard went down to Matteo Berrettini, the No. 10 position holder, in a match that could prove pivotal in shaking up the standings.
Berrettini advanced to his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal by outclassing the Wimbledon semifinalist, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Berrettini, who progressed to the last four at the US Open, is now 3-1 against Bautista Agut. He will meet last week's Beijing champion Dominic Thiem, who routed Nikoloz Basilashvili, 6-3, 6-4.