Federer triumphs in Shanghai
Shanghai, October 12
Roger Federer won his first Shanghai Masters title, beating Gilles Simon in two tie-breaks in China.
The Swiss third seed prevailed 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/2) over the unseeded Frenchman, who is yet to win a Masters title.
Simon broke in the first game and looked on course for the opening set but Federer broke back and took the tie-break much to the delight of those inside the arena.Federer, who will move up a place to number two in the ATP rankings on Monday, was playing the better tennis but the second set also went to a tie-break, where the 17-time grand slam winner wrapped up victory in an hour and 52 minutes.
The Swiss had previously reached the final of the event once before, losing in straight sets to Andy Murray in 2010, and was delighted to win this time around.
He said, “I think it’s been an unbelievable week for me personally. I got very, very lucky to come through the first round (Federer played, against Leonardo Maer), saving five match points so I know what a privilege it is to be here today.”
“So I couldn’t be more happy, it’s been an absolute dream week for me. But I’d also like to congratulate Gilles of course for fantastic playing, not just in the finals but for the entire week and I hope you can keep it up for the rest of the year.”
Simon got off to the perfect start and silenced the largely Federer supporting crowd by breaking the Swiss in the first game.
The rest of the set went with serve to leave Simon serving to take it but Federer earned himself two break points and, after the first one went long, Simon found the net on the second to allow his opponent to level things up.
The 33-year-old easily took the next game and had two set points against the serve but Simon battled back and it went to a tie-break.
Both players had mini breaks but it was Federer who edged ahead and he took the set with a backhand.
Simon called for the trainer at the break but did not look to be in any discomfort as he took the opening game of the set, although that was to be the only game on his serve that he held with ease.
The Frenchman was showing great spirit as he was made to work hard on his serve while providing little resistance against Federer’s.
He did mount some pressure in the 12th game and gained two set points against the serve but Federer saw them off and took it to another tie-break.
The second tie-break was far simpler than the first for Federer as a stunning forehand gave him set point and Simon found the net to prompt an almighty roar of celebration from the champion.