Kiki Bertens overcame an early stumble to power through to the quarter-finals of the Linz Open on Thursday.

Top seed Bertens looked to be in trouble in the last 16 in Austria when she lost the first set to Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, who won the Tashkent Open a fortnight ago.

But Dutch world number eight Bertens, who had been broken in the opening game of the match, did not drop serve again and forced a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

Lucky loser Coco Gauff, playing a WTA Tour quarter-final for the first time, will be her opponent on Friday, having also reached the doubles semi-finals alongside fellow American Caty McNally on Thursday.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff secured her singles last-eight place on Wednesday when defeating Kateryna Kozlova.

Fourth seed Donna Vekic could not join Bertens in the next round, as the Croatian claimed the opening set but went down 3-6 6-1 6-2 to French opponent Kristina Mladenovic.

This was the pair's third meeting in 2019 and, having lost the first two, Mladenovic finally took flight.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was another on the wrong end of an upset as the ninth-seeded Russian similarly let an early lead slip, beaten 2-6 6-2 6-4 by Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova.

Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova showed greater spirit after being pegged back, seeing off German Laura Siegemund in three, while French player Alize Cornet retired as she trailed Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the second set.

Teenager Coco Gauff has been promoted to the Luxembourg Open main draw after Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova pulled out with injuries.

Kerber is suffering with a leg injury while Sharapova has a shoulder problem, depriving next week's WTA event of two of its biggest names.

But the news means Gauff enters the competition proper, without needing to qualify, along with regular doubles partner Caty McNally.

Gauff, just 15, burst onto the scene at Wimbledon as she reached the fourth round, before impressing again at the US Open, her home grand slam, by winning two matches.

In her first appearance since Flushing Meadows, playing as a lucky loser, Gauff has reached the quarter-finals of Linz Open and will break into the world's top 100 next week.

She plays top seed Kiki Bertens on Friday for a place in the last four.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer face tricky quarter-final matches at the Shanghai Masters on Friday after the star pair battled through to the last eight.

World number one and defending champion Djokovic defeated John Isner 7-5 6-3, while second seed Federer got the better of David Goffin, earning a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 success.

Djokovic goes on to tackle Stefanos Tsitsipas, who overcame a significant scare as he beat Hubert Hurkacz 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-5), with Alexander Zverev up next for Federer.

German Zverev threatened to blow Andrey Rublev away after a first-set rout, but he was then made to work hard to come through 6-0 7-6 (7-4).

Daniil Medvedev, the third seed, and Dominic Thiem, the fourth seed, both won in straight sets, seeing off Vasek Pospisil and Nikoloz Basilashvili respectively.


DJOKOVIC SERVES UP A TREAT

The top seed was speaking of the threat of Isner's famous serve from the moment their last-16 clash was booked and continued to do so after his win.

But Djokovic also managed to execute his own serve as effectively as he had hoped, complementing his typically excellent defensive game to get through.

"I managed to kind of read his serve and find a good position on the return - at the end of the first set and also the beginning of the second," the Serbian said.

"I won five games in a row and that was the key - obviously having a break each set, and then I held my serve. I thought it was one of the best serving matches I've had lately."


FEDERER FLUSTERED BUT THROUGH

If Djokovic performed better than he might have expected, Federer was a little taken aback by the level of opponent Goffin, whom he thrashed in straight sets for the loss of just four games at the US Open.

"I never really felt like I had the upper hand over David today," Federer said. "I thought he did a really good job. He was so much better than at the US Open."


STILL TWO MINOR UPSETS

The top eight seeds would have made up the quarter-final line-up if not for wins by Italians Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini.

Fognini, the Monte Carlo champion who made headlines for a spat with Andy Murray earlier in the week, defeated Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3 7-5.

Berrettini, who lost to Murray last week, a month on from reaching the US Open semi-finals, got the better of Roberto Bautista Agut, tying up a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory.

Fognini faces Medvedev next, with Berrettini up against Thiem.

Roger Federer conceded he had more than his fair share of good fortune in his Shanghai Masters win over David Goffin.

The Swiss maestro battled to a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 triumph on Thursday to reach the last eight in China.

Federer saved five set points in the opener and sealed the second set after a solitary break of Goffin's serve.

"It was tough," said the 20-time grand slam champion. "He served for the set at 6-5. We both had chances but he probably had a few more I must admit.

"I had to play some very accurate shots and it went very close to the lines. They could easily have gone another way, I know that.

"I was a bit fortunate to win that first set but I played okay and I fought extremely hard.

"Sometimes it falls your way. I have had a good season and served well at the end.

"The first set was certainly crucial to put me in the lead."

The world number three will face Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.

Roger Federer was pushed to the limit by David Goffin as the world number three battled through to the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Backed by vociferous support from the crowd, Federer was firmly tested by Goffin but the 38-year-old eventually came out on top 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 on Thursday.

While fellow favourite Novak Djokovic cruised through his tie with John Isner, Federer was far from at his sharpest, with world number 14 Goffin capitalising on some rusty play from the veteran in the opening set.

Goffin squandered a break point as Federer laboured to a hold of serve in the third game, though the Belgian had to save a set point at 4-5 down.

The momentum seemed to have swung in Goffin's favour when he broke to take a 6-5 lead but the second seed responded in style, forcing the tie-break with a delicate lob at the culmination of a thrilling rally.

An arduous first set was finally settled after Goffin failed to land a shot down the line - Federer planting a firm cross-court forehand to clinch the lead. 

Both players passed up break points throughout the early exchanges of another attritional set, though Federer took the upper hand when Goffin sent a weak effort into the net.

With Federer holding the next game with ease, Goffin served brilliantly to stay in the match.

It was to no avail, though, a cushioned drop shot setting the 20-time grand slam champion up to serve out a hard-fought victory with an ace.

Heather Watson reached a WTA Tour quarter-final for the first time in over a year as she defeated Tianjin Open favourite Wang Qiang to set up a clash with Magda Linette.

The Briton - ranked 125th in the world - cruised to a 6-3 6-0 triumph over Wang to claim her first win against a top-30 opponent since she defeated Anastasija Sevastova at Wimbledon in 2017.

Korea Open finalist Linette, who last month beat Watson in qualifying for the China Open, awaits in the 27-year-old's first last-eight outing at this level since Quebec in September 2018, with the Pole having progressed when Kurumi Nara retired at 4-0 down.

Peng Shuai, meanwhile, proved little match for third seed Dayana Yastremska, who eased through 6-2 6-4.

Yastremska, now the highest-seeded player left in the competition, will face Veronika Kudermetova in the last eight, with Zheng Saisai retiring against the Russian.

Novak Djokovic outclassed John Isner as he progressed into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters with a 7-5 6-3 victory.

Defending champion Djokovic was flawless at times on Thursday in a clinical display, controlling Isner's powerful serve.

Djokovic noted he had been nursing a shoulder injury heading into the tournament, though the Serbian showed no sign of a struggle with fitness as he wrapped up a 350th ATP 1000 career win with the minimum of fuss.

It did take Djokovic until the final game of a 42-minute first set to break his opponent and, with three set points to play with, he made no mistake when he drew Isner into an overhit backhand.

That came amid a run of nine successive points for Djokovic, who swiftly hit the front in set two as he looked to snuff out any lingering chances of a  fightback from the American.

Another break followed as Djokovic raced three games clear and, though Isner regained some composure to stem the tide, he was no match for the top seed's unerring serve.

Isner positioned himself for a break when he drew back to 30-30 in the seventh game, his resolve was quickly broken by more supreme serving.

Despite a brilliant, cushioned backhand from Djokovic, Isner held his nerve to stay in the match on his next serve.

But it merely staved off the inevitable - the world number one, who is aiming for a fifth title of 2019 and will face Hubert Hurkacz or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last eight, serving out a dominant triumph with the first of three match points.

Coco Gauff reached her first WTA Tour quarter-final when Kateryna Kozlova retired in the final set of their Linz Open contest on Wednesday and could face top seed Kiki Bertens in the last eight.

Gauff, a lucky loser following Maria Sakkari's withdrawal, was leading 4-6 6-4 2-0 when her Ukrainian opponent was unable to continue due to a leg injury.

The 15-year-old American won four of the next five games from a break down at 3-2 in the second set with great fighting spirit and is set to move into the top 100 after her passage in the quarter-finals was secured.

Gauff is the youngest player to move into the last eight of a WTA event since Sesil Karatancheva back in 2005.

The teenage prodigy said: "It's been a goal of mine. In January of this year, I sent a message to my friend saying I wanted to finish Top 100, and at the time I was ranked, like, 800, so it was a far-fetched goal, but I'm glad that I was able to accomplish it.

"My other goal was to get in the main draw of two grand slams, and that happened, so I'm glad that I accomplished everything that I wanted this year."

Bertens, in contention to feature in the WTA Finals, saw off Misaki Doi 6-4 7-5 to set up a second-round meeting with Alison Van Uytvanck.

The world number eight broke twice in each set to stay in the hunt for a third title of the year as she bids to secure a place in the season-ending tournament in Shenzhen.

Andrea Petkovic won an all-German second-round match against fifth seed Julia Goerges 7-6 (7-2) 6-0, while Elena Rybakina denied Anna-Lena Friedsam a place in the quarter-finals.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Jelena Ostapenko and Ekaterina Alexandrova were first-round winners on day three.

Novak Djokovic was buoyed by his display in Wednesday's 6-3 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov at the Shanghai Masters.

The reigning champion overcame a potentially tricky first obstacle in his pursuit of a fifth title at the event, getting the job done in an hour and 10 minutes.

Djokovic dropped just one point on serve in the first set as he secured a last-16 clash with John Isner.

"From the beginning I was sharp, I brought the right intensity and focus on the court," said the Serbian.

"Obviously Denis has played a match before here and won it, and conditions are played fast so I think it is quite suitable to his style of the game. Big serve, big forehand.

"I was constantly there in his return games but he was just managing to pull out some great shots, especially with the serve.

"It was a crucial break, I think, at 3-2, first set. It kind of allowed me to start swinging through a bit more and stepping into his second serve.

"Second set was great, he started off much better with some break points. I was lucky to save those. Just overall a really good performance and I am very pleased."

Djokovic won the Japan Open last time out and has opted to combine his bid for singles glory with a shot at the doubles crown in China.

He and compatriot Filip Krajinovic face Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski on Thursday, with Djokovic's Isner showdown also on the agenda.

"I'm excited for both matches," he said. "Obviously John has one of the best serves in the history of tennis, so he can beat anybody if he is serving big and feeling well from the baseline and volleying well.

"I think the key is obviously how many serves I can get back in play. The more I do that, the better chance I have."

Novak Djokovic overcame Denis Shapovalov to book a Shanghai Masters last-16 spot as he made an impressive start to his defence of the title.

The Serbian wrapped up a 6-3 6-3 victory as he bids for a fifth trophy success at the event, where he will face John Isner next.

Isner, seeded 16th, beat Lucas Pouille 7-5 6-3, while Dominic Thiem also progressed to the next round courtesy of a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.

That was the final match on court and rounded off a day in which all 10 clashes were decided in two sets.

DOMINANT DJOKOVIC SOUNDS WARNING TO RIVALS

Shapovalov played well but could not keep pace with his illustrious rival across the net, Djokovic dropping only one point on serve in the first set.

No man has won more titles at this event than Djokovic and, on this evidence, he will be adding to his tally.

Djokovic was deadly accurate and coasted through his service games, dictating rallies and offering almost no hope to his Canadian opponent.

Even when Shapovalov upped his game on serve, Djokovic produced a string of superb returns to maintain the ascendancy.

In the other half of the draw, fourth seed Thiem battled past Carreno Busta as the Austrian advanced his claims for a second Masters win of 2019, having won at Indian Wells. 

The Austrian saved three set points in the opener and took control of the tie-break before settling matters in a more comfortable second set. 

TSITSIPAS, ZVEREV AVOID TIE-BREAK TROUBLE

A straight-sets win may always seem simple on paper, but Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev were both made to work hard for their victories.

The pair were each taken to consecutive tie-breaks, the Greek defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3), while Zverev was pushed further still in a 7-6 (15-13) 7-6 (7-3) success against Jeremy Chardy.

Sixth seed Tsitsipas, who has won in Estoril and Marseille this year, will be favourite to overcome Hubert Hurkacz for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Zverev, seeded one place higher than Tsitsipas, faces Andrey Rublev as the German goes in search of a fourth Masters title.

 

SEEDS SAIL THROUGH 

Four other seeded players enjoyed straight-sets wins, with Karen Khachanov, Roberto Bautista Agut, Matteo Berrettini and David Goffin securing their progress.

Khachanov beat Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4, Bautista Agut – runner up in 2016 – defeated Reilly Opelka 6-4 7-5 and Berrettini was a 6-3 6-3 winner over Christian Garin.

Goffin was 6-2 3-0 up against Mikhail Kukushkin when the Kazakhstani retired hurt.

Novak Djokovic's bid for a fifth Shanghai Masters title continued with an impressive 6-3 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday.

The reigning champion set up a last-16 clash with John Isner following a commanding display during which he dropped just one point on serve in the first set.

Shapovalov, ranked 36th in the world, had to fend off two break points in his opening service game as Djokovic sought to impose his authority early on.

It took until the eighth game for the 16-time grand slam champion to underline his superiority, Shapovalov's backhand clipping the net and going wide on break point to leave Djokovic serving for the set.

Having completed that task with the minimum of fuss – holding to love for the fourth time in five games – the Serbian was promptly met with sterner resistance in the second set.

Shapovalov emerged livelier and more aggressive, forcing the issue and being rewarded for his efforts with a break-point opening after darting to the net to swing a long rally in his favour.

But Djokovic remained resolute, maintaining a high first-serve percentage to tip the balance back in his favour and winning game point with a deft drop shot. 

And it was the world number one who struck what proved to be the telling blow in the fifth game, Shapovalov getting a first-hand look at what a world-class returner can do against even his most powerful serves.

Time and again Djokovic had the answer to whatever his rival could fire down and that pressure told as the top seed broke and consolidated for a 4-2 lead.

Djokovic hastened the end of the contest following a couple of brilliant winners and an unforced error from Shapovalov, who – serving to stay in the match – was simply outclassed.

Caroline Garcia's Tianjin Open title defence came to a grinding halt against Wang Yafan on Wednesday.

The Frenchwoman suffered a 6-4 6-2 loss to exit at the last-16 stage, leaving Chinese player Wang to face Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in the quarter-finals.

Peterson was leading 7-5 3-2 against Wang Xinyu when her Chinese opponent retired hurt.

Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, the sixth seed, sealed a dominant 6-1 6-2 triumph over 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur.

Up next for the world number 36 is a meeting with Ons Jabeur, who downed Wang Xiyu 6-4 6-2.

Coco Gauff made the most of a second chance at the Linz Open, while Belinda Bencic suffered a surprise defeat on Tuesday.

Teenage sensation Gauff was defeated by Tamara Korpatsch in qualifying on Monday but entered the main draw as a lucky loser when sixth seed Maria Sakkari withdrew with a right wrist injury.

The American 15-year-old, playing her first WTA Tour event since losing to Naomi Osaka at the US Open, defeated Stefanie Voegele 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in two hours and two minutes to set up a meeting with Kateryna Kozlova in the second round.

Speaking about her last-minute entry into the main draw, Gauff told a news conference: "It was very surprising because I was supposed to do a press thing today. I had practiced earlier, went back to the hotel, and then got a phone call, and was back on court 40 minutes later.

"I didn't know too much about my opponent; I found out a little how she plays through word of mouth, but most of it was me improvising.

"This is my first WTA win indoors. I live in Florida, so we don't get a chance to play indoors that much, but I enjoy it."

Second seed Bencic lost in three sets to qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam, but Donna Vekic – seeded fourth – cruised past Polona Hercog 6-1 6-1.

Barbora Strycova lost 6-4 6-4 to Alize Cornet, while Julia Goerges and Kristina Mladenovic were among the other victors.

An irritated Andy Murray accused Fabio Fognini of "hindrance" in their fiery second-round clash at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

Three-time Shanghai champion Murray was annoyed by a loud noise, which he claims was made by Fognini, when he had a volley at the net for a 15-30 lead at 5-5 in the third set.

The Briton went on to break Fognini for a second chance to serve out the match, but at the changeover the pair were involved in a heated discussion.

When Murray complained about the noise to chair umpire Fergus Murphy and Fognini attempted to interject, the three-time major champion told his opponent to "shut up".

Murray was unable to close out the victory and Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had the last laugh by sealing a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) triumph.

Asked about the incident, Murray said: "I had a volley on top of the net. Someone made a noise, I didn't know who made the noise.

"I looked in the direction of where the noise came from. He [Fognini] then told me, 'Stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for?' and I was like, 'I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise.'

"He was then telling me to stop looking at him. Normally when someone shouts during the middle of a point, which is pretty rare something like that happens, he told me to stop complaining, to have a sense of humour, that when you have a volley on top of the net you're not going to miss it.

"Well I know I'm not going to miss it but I wanted to know where the sound came from. It came from him, which you're not allowed to do, it's against the rules, it's hindrance, you shouldn't do it.

"He said I should have a sense of humour about it, but I would say in the moment neither of us were in a joking, laughing kind of mood. That was the issue."

Roger Federer began his Shanghai Masters campaign with a comfortable victory, but Andy Murray suffered defeat in a tense encounter with Fabio Fognini.

Federer had only featured at the Laver Cup since the US Open yet made relatively light work of Albert Ramos Vinolas.

Murray, meanwhile, succumbed to Fognini in a three-set match which included a heated exchange in the deciding set.

Last season's runner up Borna Coric fell to Andrey Rublev, while third seed Daniil Medvedev beat Cameron Norrie in straight sets.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic will go up against Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday, though got into his groove at the tournament with victory in the doubles alongside compatriot Filip Krajinovic.

FEDERER MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN

World number three Federer decided to skip most of the Asian swing, though he did not need to be at his sharpest when he took on Ramos Vinolas, who had defeated him at the event in 2015.

The 20-time grand slam champion - who struggled with a back issue in his US Open defeat to Grigor Dimitrov - showed no sign of injury in a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) win on Tuesday, though he did make 31 unforced errors.

"I got out the blocks quick, played a good match," Federer said. "Ramos had his chances in that tie-break up 4-1, that was a nice comeback there."

Federer's reward is a third-round tie with either David Goffin or Mikhail Kukushkin.

MURRAY GOES DOWN FIGHTING

The former world number one made it to the quarter-finals in Beijing last week, though did not have enough in the tank to overcome Fognini after squandering a chance to serve out for the win.

After failing to take his opportunity, Murray became embroiled in a spat with his opponent, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair.

Murray, who had broken for a 6-5 lead in the decider before losing his next service game, complained Fognini had called out during a rally.

When the Italian attempted to interrupt Murray's conversation with umpire Fergus Murphy, the Scot quickly shot him down, telling Fognini to "shut up". Eventually, though, Fognini had the last word, triumphing 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

MEDVEDEV THROUGH, CORIC SENT PACKING

Having taken time off following his triumph at the St Petersburg Open, world number four Medvedev swiftly clicked into gear with a routine 6-3 6-1 win over Norrie.

Medvedev will take on Vasek Pospisil in round three, after the Canadian defeated Joao Sousa in straight sets. 

Coric - who lost to Medvedev in the St Petersburg final – was outdone by Rublev, who won 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Alex de Minaur, meanwhile, failed to build on his success at the Zhuhai Open last month. He slipped out to John Isner.

DJOKOVIC PLAYING IT SAFE WITH SHOULDER ISSUE

Djokovic starts his singles campaign against Shapovalov but took the chance to get into the swing of things as he partnered Krajinovic against Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies.

The duo won 6-3 3-6 10-3 and will go up against Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the next round, though Djokovic confirmed he has been nursing a shoulder problem, albeit one that is not preventing him from playing.

"It was just over the time, maybe the posture and the shoulder position and so forth that once we have now corrected that it appears to be fine," he told a news conference.

"But it still needs a couple of weeks to really get back and not be concerned about it. I don't feel pain playing but there is still being cautious about it and still working daily a lot on the preparation and rehab."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.