Roger Federer claims Shanghai Masters title
Swiss beat France’s Gilles Simon in tight final and now moves back to two in the world
Roger Federer celebrates with his trophy after defeating Gilles Simon of France in the final of the Shanghai Tennis Masters in Shanghai, China, Photograph: Diego Azubel / EPA
The Frenchman 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 tiebreak, where the 17-time grand slam winner wrapped up victory in an hour and 52 minutes.
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, while 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.
“It’s been an unbelievable week for me personally,’’ Federer said at the post-match presentations.
“I got very very lucky to come through the first round, saving five match points, so I know what a privilege it is to be here today.
“I couldn’t be more happy. It’s been an absolute dream week for me.
“I’d also like to congratulate Gilles for fantastic play not just in the final but for the entire week and I hope you can keep it up for the rest of the year.’