"I didn't win too many matches the beginning of the year", said Djokovic, who is a three-time champion in Shanghai, winning the title in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina reacts after defeating Richard Gasquet of France in their men's singles match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. I think I had 80 per cent first serves in that second set and he broke me twice so he was feeling it.
"He has done well here before beating Novak so I am aware of that", Federer said.
Federer, who was uncharacteristically flustered at times, said he was pleased with his performance, but admitted it had been a nervy one.
The number three seed fought back on two occasions, winning four straight games from 3-5 down in the first set and then recovering from a 2-6 deficit in the second set tie-break on the way to a 7-5 7-6 (9/7) victory.
Federer, chasing a third crown in Shanghai, will face Roberto Bautista in the next round as he continues his preparations towards the ATP World Tour Finals.
Talking about the shot after the match, Federer said: "What was great about that shot is he didn't maybe want that, but he gave himself the best chance to make the ball". "It's a pity in the sense I played a attractive match, but didn't get a victory". It's a pity that I lost the opportunity to play with Federer, to see what's the difference between us.
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But the reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion saw off the danger and found four break points of his own during a marathon seventh game.
"I knew today was going to be a different match".
Earlier, the home favorite Zhang Ze was defeated by Daniil Medvedev in a nail-biter 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 battle. I did everything that I needed to win.
Up to a career-high ranking of 23, Basilashvili never faced a break point on his serve. The account of the meeting- 6:4, 4:6, 6:4.
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev also barrelled into the quarters with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Alex de Minaur.
The world No 2 will tackle Kei Nishikori in the last eight after the eighth seed came through against American big-hitter Sam Querrey 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.
HONG KONG (AFP-Jiji) - Li Na's shining example and the explosion of tournaments in China after her Grand Slam wins has triggered the emergence of a new generation of Chinese players, the country's top two women have said.