Following arguably one of his best performances in recent memory, Roger Federer is through to the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, where he will attempt to secure one of the only Masters 1000 titles to elude his grasp all these years. Federer’s final obstacle at this event will be France’s Gilles Simon, who has also been through a solid week of tennis to arrive at his enthralling final. This will mark the seventh time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Federer leading the head to head series 4-2.
In arguably one of the best displays of serve and volley action in the last decade, Roger Federer ousted world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic en route to a straight sets victory. The win sets up Federer’s second ever final at the Shanghai Masters, as he lost to British No. 1 Andy Murray at this event in 2010.
Having imposed his will from the start of the match, Federer broke in the fifth game of the opening set to lead 3-2 and cruise to a 6-4 lead in the first set. He would immediately follow up with a quick break to start the second set. It would prove to be the only one he needed in the second frame, as he saved multiple points to secure the 6-4, 6-4 victory in 1 hour and 35 minutes.
“It was a great match, I agree,” said Federer, who will play for his 81st tour-level title on Sunday. “I think I played very well. There was nothing in the game today that wasn’t working. I think it was a high-level match. I’m unbelievably happy with the way it went.”
France’s Gilles Simon added to his sensational week on the ATP World Tour with a strong showing against Feliciano Lopez to defeat the Spaniard 6-2, 7-6(1). The win places the world No. 29 in jus the second Masters 1000 final of his professional career. His first took place six years ago in Madrid, where he finished runner-up to British No. 1 Andy Murray.
“I just know that I can do it,” said Simon, who regained his spot in the Top 30 with a semi-final showing last week in Tokyo. “When I’m playing good, I can play at their level. This I’m not worried about. The question is whether I will be able to do it tomorrow. I just know now more about the top guys, about how it’s going to be tomorrow. It’s not new anymore. I just hope it will help me to play a great match.”
With Federer’s performance still fresh in our minds, it is hard to imagine any competitor on the tour who would be able to stop his ascent to the Shanghai title. Even Simon, who has played some impressive tennis all week and is quite deserving of a spot in the final, will likely be unable to find an answer to the world No. 2’s offense.
“I’m not going to come into the match and play terrible,” said Federer. “It just won’t happen – not in the finals, not against Simon. That’s the confidence I have right now.”
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets