Federer Wins First in Shanghai, Bryans Claim Golden Masters Crown
Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast
One of the greatest singles players of all time, and perhaps the greatest doubles tandem of all time both made more history at the Masters series tournament in Shanghai this past week. Roger Federer defeated Gilles Simon, who was competing in his second career Masters 1000 level final, 7-6 7-6 to win his maiden Shanghai title. The title is the 23rd at the Masters Series level for the Swiss and he returns to the World Number 2 ranking at the age of 33.
Federer saved five match points against Leo Mayer before winning a third set tiebreak 9-7 to advance to round 3, and he took control of all his other matches, comfortably handling Roberto Bautista Agut, and Julien Benneteau before winning a thrilling contest with world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals 6-4 6-4.. The two titans of the game battled each other and Federer took just the slightest advantage, knocking out the two time defending Shanghai champion with a pair of breaks.
Simon has been playing some great tennis at the end of the season, and he has had a surprising run of form in Asia. The Frenchman was untroubled by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez after a poor first set, he survived a long match with Stan Wawrinka, eventually prevailing in 3 sets, as both players had chances to take the match, and Wawrinka gave away a break advantage a couple of times. Simon had an easier time against Melake Jaziri in round 3, and then he beat Tomas Berdych in 3 sets to setup a semifinal with Feliciano Lopez, who had beaten Rafael Nadal and John Isner earlier in the week. Simon won that one in two sets with a lone tiebreak, and as I said he has been showing some great fighting spirit in recent weeks, outlasting and out grinding his opponents in some tight contests.
The Bryan Brothers have no other accomplishments to lay claim to in terms of the ATP doubles circuit, after they won Shanghai over Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They have now won all of the ATP Masters Series events as a men’s doubles team, along with all of the Grand Slams, and they remain the World’s Number 1 ranked Men’s doubles tandem.