Shanghai: Roger Federer edged a resilient Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/2) to win the Shanghai Masters and claim the 81st title of his career on Sunday.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner had blown away World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals but he found a stubborn opponent in Simon at Shanghai’s QiZhong Tennis Centre. And the 33-year-old needed two tie-breaks before dousing Simon to making it back-to-back Masters victories following his win in Cincinnati in August.
The Swiss veteran started poorly against 29th-ranked Simon’s confrontational baseline play and he lost his serve in the very first game. Federer changed tactics midway through the first set, tentatively approaching the net in a bid to regain the initiative. But Simon was unfazed, slamming his shots with power when Federer was in a forward position.
Shouts of “Come on Roger” were being drowned out by “Allez Gilles!” as the crowd sensed an upset could be on the cards.
Federer will now celebrate his 23rd Masters victory as he moves up one place to world number two, displacing Rafael Nadal, in the new rankings released next week.
Bryan brothers win doubles title
American twins Bob and Mike Bryan added another accolade to their lengthy resume after taking the Shanghai Masters men’s doubles title on Sunday to become the first pair to win all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments.
The 35-year-old siblings defeated French Open champions Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 7-6(3) on the Chinese hard court to take an unprecedented 101st career title in their 152nd final.
Sunday’s victory was their fifth Masters 1000 title of the season, a joint personal best, after they secured the year-end doubles number one ranking earlier this week for the 10th time.