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Federer saves two match points to beat Monfils in Madrid

MADRID: Roger Federer survived two fit issues against French maverick Gael Monfils to increase his claycourt comeback and achieve the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open on Thursday.

The evergreen Swiss 37-year-old did not drop a recreation in a dominant first set but was dragged into an intense fight by means of an inspired Monfils prior to prevailing 6-Zero, Four-6, 7-6(3).

World number 3 Federer, taking part in his first event on clay for 3 years as he prepares for the French Open, surrendered the initiative after his brisk get started and was in serious trouble in the third set when he trailed Four-1.

Federer struggled along with his timing on events in breezy, sunny stipulations and swatted a ball angrily over the stands when he dropped serve at first of the decider.

But he broke again in the seventh recreation with a shocking sliced backhand return.

Monfils earned a fit level at 5-6 on the Federer serve with an ice-cool backhand cross, but Federer adopted in a second serve and bounced away a break.

Federer saved some other fit level to arrange a tiebreak and he proved unstoppable as he swept to his 1,200th fit win.

Austrian Dominic Thiem awaits in the subsequent round after he beat Italian Fabio Fognini.

"I think Gael did a nice job of not being frustrated losing the first set," Federer stated. "I lost five games in a row and it didn't look good for a while but I hung in. There were some highly stressful moments but I mixed it up nicely."

Federer's fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, champion at Roland Garros in 2015, persisted to produce some vintage form as he beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(3).

World primary Novak Djokovic was untroubled as he beat Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 7-6(2) to arrange a clash against Marin Cilic.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who later this month will purpose for a 12th French Open, faces American Frances Tiafoe later while defending champion Alexander Zverev performs Hubert Hurkacz.

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