Former Shanghai champion Roger Federer is through to his 87th Masters 1000 quarter-final, battling past David Goffin 7-6, 6-4 for the tenth victory over the Belgian in 11 encounters. Both players had more errors than winners but it was Federer who played on a higher level when he needed that the most, saving two out of three break chances and earning two breaks that pushed him over the top and towards the 381st Masters 1000 victory, matching the record of Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss had a slight edge in the shortest and most extended rallies, although it has to be said that Goffin gave his best to topple a great rival, wasting numerous opportunities in the opener and losing ground a little bit in set number two to finish his campaign in the third round.
The opening set lasted for 70 minutes and it was a real roller coaster ride, with Federer fending off five set points to prevail and gain a massive boost ahead of the second set. Both players won 53 points and grabbed one break from two opportunities, with Federer surviving the challenging third game with six deuces and one break point to stay in front and avoid an early setback.
Returning at 5-4, Federer hit an incredible forehand down the line winner for a set point, denied by a forehand drive-volley winner from Goffin who leveled the score at 5-5 and gained the momentum and the break in the next game with a forehand winner that moved him closer to the finish line.
The Belgian was the better player so far but it wasn't enough to earn the set for him, squandering three set points on serve in the next game and allowing Federer to break back after a loose forehand, setting up a tie break.
There, David led 5-2 and wasted chances at 6-5 and 7-6, blowing away five set points in total and losing the breaker 9-7 following a forehand winner from Roger who was mighty relieved with this outcome. The Swiss had the upper hand now and needed no second invitation in set number two, dropping just six points on serve and earning a break in game seven when Goffin netted a forehand, forging the advantage and moving over the top with a hold at 15 in game ten to remain on the title course.