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Federer suffers early exit in Shanghai

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Originally published on: 10/10/13 00:00

Playing in his first tournament since the US Open, Federer won his opening match against Andreas Seppi, but came unstuck against Monfils 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3. The Swiss recovered from a break down in the second set to force a decider, but could not maintain his challenge as he went down in two hours and nine minutes.

"It's a good win for me. I feel a bit sorry for him because I know he's running for London,” said Monfils, who will face Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. “But it's tennis. He's going to have more opportunity those weeks coming up.

"He's still strong. It's just a matter of confidence, I think. I have no doubt that he will get back to the way people expect him [to play].”

Federer, who also lost his doubles match on Thursday as he and Zhang Ze were beaten 6-1 1-6 10-8 by Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, is facing a battle to qualify for the season finale, where he is a six-time champion.

Andy Murray’s withdrawal this week has provided another opportunity for Federer to make it into the final eight, but the world No.7, who is scheduled to play in Basel and Paris, will be hoping it does not come down to the wire.

"I'm just going to focus on trying to play well," he said. "I'm just going to try to have a good tournament in Basel and Paris.  In the end, if I get the invite, I'll be there."

Following his 13th defeat of the season, Federer will slip behind compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka to eighth in the Race to London, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer having already booked their spots. 

Juan Martin Del Potro and Tomas Berdych remain in pole position to qualify after wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Feliciano Lopez respectively, but John Isner's faint hopes of snatching a place faded with defeat to Carlos Berlocq. Richard Gasquet's chances also suffered a blow with a first-round defeat to Vasek Pospisil in Shanghai.

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