SHANGHAI (AP) — Roger Federer's chances of qualifying for the ATP Tour Finals took a hit Thursday when he lost in three sets to Gael Monfils at the Shanghai Masters, the latest early round loss for the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
Monfils beat the former No. 1-ranked Federer 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 in the third round.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and top-ranked Rafael Nadal moved into the quarterfinals with straight-set wins.
Djokovic beat Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3, and Nadal rallied from 5-2 down in the second-set tiebreaker to down Argentina's Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 7-6 (5).
Two of the tournament's other top seeded players were ousted: No. 3 David Ferrer lost to Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-3, and No. 4 Tomas Berdych was upset by Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (6), 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Federer, who has slipped to No. 7 in the rankings, was playing for the first time since losing in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. He needed a strong showing in Shanghai to secure a berth in the elite season-ending ATP Tour Finals in London — a tournament he played every year since 2002.
Federer is currently seventh in the standings, with only a slight lead over several other players vying to get into the eight-man field in London. He plans to play in Basel and Paris in hopes of making it into the Nov. 4-11 tournament.
Federer fell to a player ranked outside the top 40 for the fourth time in his last six matches. He came into the match with a 6-1 record against Monfils, who recently returned to the tour after an injury layoff.
Federer remained upbeat despite the loss — and his subsequent defeat in doubles with Chinese partner Zhang Ze. He said the most important thing was not to worry about every setback.
"It's pretty simple: You just keep on working hard, make sure that you get back on winning ways, then you become confident again, sort of get there," Federer said.
"Monfils is a quality player, like some others," he said. "I lost some other matches this year because I couldn't really perform at 100 percent. Probably shouldn't have played. But I don't really care having to explain some losses from time to time."
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro and Stanislas Wawrinka also advanced to the quarterfinals, strengthening their bids to qualify for the ATP Finals.
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