October 8, 2019 / 3:59 PM / 2 months ago

Federer opens Shanghai play with a vengeance

Four years after a stunning second-round loss to Albert Ramos-Vinolas at this venue, No. 2 seed Roger Federer defeated the Spaniard 6-2, 7-6 (5) on Tuesday at the Shanghai Masters in China.

Tennis - Shanghai Masters - Men's Singles - Shanghai, China - October 8, 2019 - Roger Federer of Switzerland rests during his match against Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas. REUTERS/Aly Song

The Swiss star played aggressively throughout the 86-minute, second-round match, winning 81 percent of his points at the net. Federer won 91 percent of his first-service points, never faced a break point and finished with eight aces and zero double faults.

“Serve was solid. I was hitting my spots and really was never in trouble there,” said Federer, who came back from 4-1 down in the tiebreak.

Federer, seeking his 29th career ATP Masters 1000 title, admitted he was thinking about his 2015 loss to Ramos-Vinolas before the match.

“Watched highlights. Remember how it felt. I had my chances. I won many more points that time than I lost, so I should have actually won that match,” Federer said. “... To play him again in the same circumstances, basically I knew (he) could be dangerous, and that’s why I’m very pleased how I was able to control the match out there today.”

A two-time Shanghai champion (2014, 2017), the 38-year-old Federer will face either No. 13 seed David Goffin of Belgium or Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin for a spot in the quarterfinals. Goffin beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday and Kukushkin eliminated Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday.

In other second-round play, Italy’s Fabio Fognini knocked out three-time Shanghai champ Andy Murray of Scotland 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (2) in three hours and nine minutes.

Murray served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the deciding set, but couldn’t put away the 10th-seeded Fognini. Fognini will face either No. 7 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia or Taylor Fritz in the third round.

No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev improved to 25-3 in his last 28 matches with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over British qualifier Cameron Norrie in just 55 minutes.

“I’m trying my best to keep the form I have,” said Medvedev, who leads the ATP with 55 wins in 2019. “It’s really not easy, because as soon as you relax a little bit, the results will start to fall. That’s why I’m trying not to relax.”

Other winners Tuesday included No. 11 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy, No. 15 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, Australia’s John Millman and Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz upset No. 9 seed Gael Monfils of France, 6-2, 7-6 (1).

—Field Level Media

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