Roger Federer beats Diego Schwartzman in entertaining Shanghai Masters encounter Federer watched Rafael Nadal dispatch Jared Donaldson in less than an hour and by contrast in took the Swiss 55 minutes to claim just the first set against Schwartzman. The exuberant and dangerous Argentine when a break down in the sixth game but immediate struck back and saved two more break points in game eight before forcing a tie-break. But Federer won four points on the Schwartzman serve to take it 7-4 and an immediate break to love followed at the beginning of the second set. The capitulation that threatened did not follow though but Federer, ever the consummate front-runner, ensured his serve was never threatened and he eventually closed out a straight sets victory. Ranked No 26 in the world, Schwartzman represented anything but an easy draw for Federer who was afforded a bye in the first round while his opponent had needed nearly two hours to beat Jordan Thompson. But there were not signs of legginess in the Argentinian, who scrapped and whacked with all his might, desperate to record a first win over the world No 2. Last time they met, Schwartzman had taken the first set on the clay of Istanbul only for Federer to bounce back win in three.
But it was he himself who was under pressure in the early stages, unable to make an impression of the Federer serve: the Swiss lost just one point in each of his first three service games while Schwartzman had to save a break point in his second and eventually lost the advantage in the sixth game. However, Federer was immediately broken back to force parity again and while he forced two more break points in the next game, the often spectacular Schwartzman was able to save himself and make it 4-4. The pressure told though in the tie-break. Schwartzman squandered a 2-0 lead to lose seven of the next nine points and the first set. And he at once lost his serve in the second, chuntering at chair umpire Carlos Bernardes, whose fluency in Spanish helped him placate the frustrated Argentine. Federer though was not as obliging and his serving went up another gear – he won 76 per cent of points behind his first serve and saved the only break point against him of the set with efficient ease.
Ever the perfect front-runner, he gave Schwartzman precious little hope in the final half an hour and while the first match point was brilliantly saved, the second was converted and after 95 minutes, Federer was through to face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round..