SHANGHAI, China -- There were few surprises in the third round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, as top seeds Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray all advanced, with only Federer needing three sets to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals.
Down a set to Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, Federer pulled even after taking the second set tiebreaker, 7-4, finally sealing the victory in a lopsided third frame. Allowing Wawrinka only five points in the third, Federer won the match 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-0, and will face Croatia's Marin Cilic in the quarters.
The win, his 63rd of the season, assures that Federer will retain his world number one ranking for a record 300th week after the tournament.
"An incredible milestone ... this incredible number of 300. It's a great reward for me," commented Federer. "I feel a great sense of satisfaction because of that incredible number and because of all the effort I've put into it ... it's not how I envisaged the whole career really."
Novak Djokovic continued his hot serving hand, disposing of Feliciano Lopez in just one hour and eight minutes, 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic turned in a 12-ace performance, breaking Lopez's serve on three occasions, without ever allowing the Spaniard a single break opportunity.
Djokovic, who is looking for his second title in Shanghai, moves on to face German Tommy Haas in the quarterfinals, after Haas upset Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic, 6-2, 6-1.
"I'm trying to enjoy the efficiency of my serve," added Djokovic. "I'm not very well known around the tour for big serving, but so far in this tournament . . . it has been working very well for me. It has been giving me a lot of free points, a lot of confidence into the matches."
Two-time defending champion Andy Murray also cruised in his third round matchup, finishing Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-2, 6-2.
Converting five-of-six break chances, Murray landed 73-percent of his first serves, including seven aces, to send the Ukranian packing. Now with 51 wins on the 2012 season, Murray will continue his bid to become Shanghai's first three-time winner, as he faces Czech Radek Stepanek in the quarterfinals, after Stepanek upset eighth seed John Isner, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
"I think I did a decent job. It's very, very different conditions to last week," offered Murray. "I just tried to stay solid and go for the lines too much early on. I tried to keep the ball low . . . just tried to keep the ball low, play solid, and I served well."
In the day's early matches, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dropped Marcos Baghdatis, 6-2, 7-6 (2), behind 11 aces and five breaks, while Tomas Berdych needed three sets to oust Sam Querrey, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4, despite 17 aces from the American.
Tsonga and Berdych will meet in the quarters.
Action from the 2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters continues tomorrow.
Read about the whole tournament on Huffington Post Sports.
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