Shanghai Masters: 'Next Gen' make their mark as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic bow out
The next generation of youngsters made their mark at the Shanghai Masters as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev knocked out former champions Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer respectively, booking their semi-final spots on Friday.
Alexander Zverev of Germany in action against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the Men's singles Quarterfinals match of 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters day seven at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 11, 2019 in Shanghai, China
"He had the high-quality tennis and he played well after his serve. He was backing up his serve with really good, aggressive first shots in the rally," Japan Open winner Djokovic told reporters.
I didn't make him defend enough. I just gave him enough time to really dictate the play... and he deserved to win."
Germany's fifth seed Zverev beat a spirited Federer 6-3 6-7(7) 6-3 in a dramatic affair that lasted a little over two hours.
Staring down the barrel in the second set, Federer saved five match points to force a decider where he failed to keep his composure, receiving a rare point penalty for ball abuse.
Zverev took his opportunities in the final set and finished the encounter with 43 winners to Federer's 21.
"He will always make it tricky for you like he did today with me, and you always got to play your best tennis to have a chance," Zverev said.
I knew if I'm going to keep playing the way I played the first two sets, I'm going to have a chance in the third as well."
Zverev will next meet Italy's 23-year-old Matteo Berrettini, who defeated China Open champion Dominic Thiem 7-6(8) 6-4. Tsitsipas takes on U.S. Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, who overcame Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-3 7-6(4).
Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer, Masters 1000 Shanghai
Image credit: Getty Images
For the first time since the tournament's inaugural edition in 2009, none of the 'Big Four' -- Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray -- are in contention for the trophy.
Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Medvedev, Thiem and Tsitsipas have booked their places for the ATP Finals, with two spots still up for grabs for the tournament in London.