Rival player fumes over Roger Federer 'favouritism'

Roberto Bautista-Agut was left fuming after his loss to Roger Federer at the Shanghai Masters.

Federer was stretched to three sets for a second consecutive match to reach the quarter-finals on Thursday, defeating his Spanish opponent 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Bautista-Agut pushed the World No.2 all the way, and very nearly pulled off a major upset.

And he may have done just that if not for a controversial call in the third set.

At 4-4, Bautista-Agut hit a forehand winner that landed in, but the line judge called it out and the point had to be replayed.

Bautista-Agut and Federer. Image: Getty

Federer then broke Bautista-Agut’s serve and went on to serve out the match, leaving the Spanish underdog in a rage.

“It is not the first time that favouritism has occurred,” Bautista Agut said.

“I do not think I lost by that ball, but in my opinion I do not think the referee was right there.

“I’m a bit disgusted with the result because I think I have made merits to win or to put myself in a position to win, it was the first time I had Federer on the ropes, it was a good day to beat him and in the end he was not able to win.

“It was a very tense moment, I went 30-0, with two good serves, I was 30 equal and I felt the tension of having Federer in front of me.

“That the match was at a very critical point, a decisive moment like that, in a deuce, a point more or a point less is decisive.”

The Swiss legend was relieved to advance after the big scare.

“I’m actually quite happy,” Federer said.

“Bautista really had to raise his level of play in that second set to stay with me.

“I mean, he really caught fire, I thought. I served, I think, 80 percent in that second set and got broken twice.”

Federer will play eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori, a finalist in Tokyo last week, after he ousted Sam Querrey 7-6 (7), 6-4 on Thursday.