Preview: Federer & Goffin Renew Their Rivalry In Shanghai
Second-seeded Swiss Roger Federer continues his quest for a third Rolex Shanghai Masters title against a familiar foe in No. 13 seed David Goffin of Belgium. All third-round matches will take place in a stacked schedule featuring all of the top eight seeds in action, including top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic.
Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 9-1 and won both of their matches this year at the US Open and the Halle final. With a 22-5 record at this event, he also has plenty of positive memories to draw from. Federer had the fans firmly in his corner during his second-round win on Tuesday against Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas and believes their support can help fuel him to another title run.
”The fans get together [and] really make a conscious effort to show me how excited and happy they are. It means a lot to me,” Federer said at his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “You don't get fans grouping together like this anywhere else in the world.”
Goffin is enjoying a career resurgence in the second half of this year that has pushed him back inside the Top 15 of the ATP Rankings. He’s gone 22-9 since the start of the grass-court season, with highlights including his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati (l. to Gasquet), a runner-up finish in Halle (l. to Federer) and his first Wimbledon quarter-final.
However, the Belgian endured one of the most lopsided losses of his career to Federer at the US Open, winning just four games in a 79-minute defeat. Although Goffin beat him at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals and has the tools to defeat anyone when he’s playing well, he isn’t shy to acknowledge the challenges that Federer poses.
”He's playing so fast. He's serving on the line all the time. You don't have a lot of rhythm. You don't have a lot of rallies,” Goffin said after their match in New York. "As soon as you have a chance, you miss the forehand or you miss the backhand or an easy pass. Then it gives him a lot of confidence for the next service game. He doesn’t give you the time to play.”
Another long-standing rivalry will get a new chapter when Djokovic meets big-serving American John Isner, the No. 16 seed. The Serbian holds a convincing 9-2 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry and has won their past five matches, but both of Isner’s victories came on hard courts.
Djokovic is filed with confidence after taking the title last week in Tokyo (d. Millman) and his second-round win over #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov made it clear that he’s eager for a fifth title in Shanghai. Meanwhile, Isner’s potent serve has been in top form this week and he’s two big serves away from reaching 1,000 aces in a season for the seventh time in his career.
Third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev looks to continue his winning ways against Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil. Medvedev has earned 55 victories this season, more than any other player on tour, and has reached the final or won his past five events. Fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem aims to continue riding the momentum from last week’s triumph in Beijing (d. Tsitsipas) when he meets No. 15 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.
Other notable matches on Thursday include fifth-seeded German Alexander Zverev taking on Russian Andrey Rublev and sixth-seeded #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas squaring off with Pole Hubert Hurkacz.
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER 2019
CENTRE COURT 1 start 12:30 pm
 Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs [Q] Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
 Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs  John Isner (USA)
Not Before 6:30 pm
 Roger Federer vs  David Goffin (BEL)
 Alexander Zverev (GER) vs Andrey Rublev (RUS)
SHOW COURT 3 start 12:30 pm
 Karen Khachanov (RUS) vs  Fabio Fognini
 Roberto Bautista Agut vs  Matteo Berrettini (ITA)
 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Hubert Hurkacz (POL)
Not Before 5:30 pm
 Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs  Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)