Roger Federer: Alexander Zverev showed great character

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Roger Federer: Alexander Zverev showed great character

Swiss Roger Federer kept it classy after suffering a defeat at the Shanghai Masters as he praised rising star Alexander Zverev for the way he played in the key moments of their match. Zverev, seeded at No. 5, overcame second-seeded Federer in three sets 6-3 6-7 (7) 6-3 to set up a Shanghai semifinal meeting against Italy's Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev had a great chance to claim a straight-set win but he blew three consecutive match points on his serve in the 12th game of the second set, before also missing out on two more match points in the tie-break. It all appeared to be set for a huge Federer comeback but Zverev showed great mental toughness after blowing multiple chances in the second set as he started the third set with an early break and then held on to his serve to earn a win.

"I told him at the net that he showed great character, that he was strong... I thought he didn't show any frustrations or too much negativity,” Federer revealed post-match, per the ATP website. “I didn't see him very often being extremely frustrated except the one time when he hit three let cords in a row, the last game I think it was.

"That was impressive, because he has tendencies to get a bit down on himself. Especially this season, he hasn't been playing maybe so well, so that impressed me the most. If I can get one per cent of that, I'm happy, too."