Tennis: Federer gets the better of Ramos-Vinolas at Rolex Shanghai Masters, Murray bows out

Roger Federer hits a return against Albert Ramos of Spain during their first round men's singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai, on Oct 8, 2019.
Roger Federer hits a return against Albert Ramos of Spain during their first round men's singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai, on Oct 8, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI - Haunted by a shock loss to Albert Ramos-Vinolas in 2015, Roger Federer was determined to prevent a repeat of that result on Tuesday (Oct 8).

The Swiss avenged that upset, beating Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in 86 minutes in the second round of the same tournament, the Rolex Shanghai Masters, at Qi Zhong Stadium on Tuesday evening.

When asked how much he thought about the 2015 match ahead of their clash, he replied with a smile: "All the time.

"I was thinking about it. 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.

"To play him again in the same circumstances basically I knew could be dangerous, and that's why I'm very pleased with how I was able to control the match out there today."

Under a closed roof and backed by most of the crowd, who roared in approval when he won a point and sighed collectively each time he lost one, Federer broke twice to win the first set in clinical fashion. He was hardly challenged on his service games - he did not face a break point and was only pushed to deuce once in the second set.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion also won 17 out of 21 net points (81 per cent) and despite trailing 1-4 in the tiebreak, he kept his composure to stave off world No. 46 Ramos-Vinolas and seal victory with a volley.

Federer, the world No. 3, next faces either Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan or Belgian David Goffin.

 
 
 
 

While he acknowledged that playing in front of a very supportive crowd can be a source of both motivation and pressure, the 38-year-old, who won here in 2014 and 2017, said: "It can work your mind. But I think with experience I know that they'd rather see me win the match, not play as pretty and as spectacular, but see me in the next round rather than me trying to hit the crazy shots all the time and trying to please them.

"So at the end, I try my best... today again was special playing in front of so many fans of mine, so yes, it can create pressure for sure, no doubt about it."

While Federer completed his match with relative ease, Andy Murray's comeback after hip surgery in January was halted by Italian 10th seed Fabio Fognini, who beat the Briton 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 7-6 (7-2).

Murray had served for the match twice, but tempers flared towards the end of the 3hr 9min encounter, with the three-time Grand Slam champion angry that Fognini shouted as he was about to hit the ball. Both men then had a testy exchange at the changeover, with Murray telling Fognini to "shut up".