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Federer determined to bounce back
Roger Federer is targeting good performances in Basle and Paris after his hopes of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals were dealt a blow at the Shanghai Masters.
The Swiss suffered his latest disappointing defeat in a difficult season as Gael Monfils triumphed 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.
Federer is still in a decent position to make the World Tour Finals, especially given Andy Murray's withdrawal on Wednesday, but it could well go down to the Paris Masters next month.
Asked about Murray's absence, Federer said on atpworldtour.com: "I hope I don't have to rely on it. If I have to, I have to. But that's not really what I want.
"I'm just going to focus on trying to play well. I'm just going to try to have a good tournament in Basle and Paris. In the end, if I get the invite, I'll be there."
The 32-year-old battled very hard, showing a lot more emotion than usual, but it was not enough to get past Monfils.
Things went wrong from the start for Federer, who had his serve broken in the first game and went on to lose the opening set.
The second set seemed to be in Monfils' grasp, but Federer recovered from a break down at 3-4 and then won four points in a row from 3-5 in the tie-break.
He was swiftly behind in the decider too, and this time he could not mount a comeback.
He had break points to get to 3-4 but they went begging and Monfils served out to love for only his second win in eight matches against Federer.
Monfils said: "I knew that I choked on the forehand at 5-4 (in the tie-break). Then I changed my ideas because I was maybe nervous, too.
"Even (though) I was tired, I tried to play more aggressively sometimes, going more for my shots and it worked.
"It's a good win for me. I feel a bit sorry for him because I know he's running for London. But it's tennis. He's going to have more opportunity those weeks coming up."
While Federer made an early exit, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal stayed on course for another final clash.
Djokovic has been the form player in Asia so far and he eased past Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-3 to set up a meeting with Monfils, while new world number one Nadal survived a close second set to defeat Carlos Berlocq 6-1 7-6 (7/5).
Eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka overtook his countryman Federer in the race to London with a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 victory over Milos Raonic - a blow to the Canadian's hopes of playing at the O2 Arena.
Like Raonic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is currently just outside the top nine, but he picked up valuable points by beating Kei Nishikori 7-6 (7/5) 6-0.
Tsonga next meets Germany's Florian Mayer, who upset third seed David Ferrer 6-4 6-3.
Ferrer has already booked his place at the O2 but he has struggled for form since reaching the French Open final.
Juan Martin del Potro battled with a fever in his second-round match so Tommy Haas' withdrawal with a back injury ahead of their clash was good timing for the Argentinian.
Next up for Del Potro is Spain's Nicolas Almagro, who upset fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-7 (6/8) 5-3 7-6 (7/4).