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Roger Federer Suffers Surprise Defeat to Gael Monfils at Shanghai Masters

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 10: Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after losing the game against Gael Monfils of France during day four of the Shanghai Rolex Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center on October 10, 2013 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2013

Roger Federer suffered a shock defeat to Gael Monfils in the Shanghai Rolex Masters third round.

As reported by the ATP World Tour’s official website, Switzerland’s legendary player was embarrassed with a relatively straightforward defeat to Monfils, who faces either Novak Djokovic or Fabio Fognini in the quarterfinals.

"Monfils recorded just his second win in eight FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Federer with a 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 victory in two hours and nine minutes," reported the website.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 10:  Gael Monfils of France returns a shot to Roger Federer of Switzerland during day four of the Shanghai Rolex Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center on October 10, 2013 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Federer’s high-profile disappointment comes on the back of a terrible season. Having dominated tennis for so long, the global hero’s staggering loss of form is forcing many to question whether he still has the quality to remain at the top.

Losses to Daniel Brands, Federico Delbonis and Sergiy Stakhovsky fail to promote the struggling player's credentials for future success.

Rafael Nadal recently returned to No. 1 in the world rankings for the first time since 2011. The Spaniard’s surge of form has seen him compound the misery of Federer, who currently sits at No. 7 and faces an uncertain future at the age of 32.

Federer whimpered through the first set against Monfils and quickly allowed his opponent to gain the upper hand. Defeat was delayed after he battled to win four straight points in the second-set tiebreak, but Federer eventually succumbed to the power of the French competitor who notched a memorable scalp.

Monfils’ victory followed third-seeded David Ferrer’s shocking 6-4 6-3 defeat to Florian Meyer, per ESPN.

In the lead-up to his Shanghai collapse, Federer confirmed he is desperate to qualify for this year’s World Tour Finals, as reported by Simon Briggs of The Telegraph:

It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for [London]. I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that.

My mindset now is [that] next year is going to be a great year again where I’m not going to have that many points to defend.

Federer’s loss to Monfils is a major blow, especially after his disappointing defeat to Tommy Robredo in September’s U.S. Open. As defeats rack up, pressure continues to grow on the player who has 17 Grand Slam titles to his name.

With Andy Murray already confirmed to miss the World Finals Tour through injury, as reported by BBC Sport, Federer's potential absence from the London showcase would be a further disappointment for tournament organisers at the O2 Arena.

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