A short stay in Shanghai for Federer as he succumbed to a 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3 loss at the hands of Albert Ramos-Vinolas in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Going into the tie Roger was the defending champion up against the World Number 70 with a 0-15 record against Top 10 opposition; but the Spaniard's play belied his ranking as he kept pace throughout before breaking decisively in the 8th game of the final set en route to recording biggest win of his career.
Bit of a surprising loss if I'm honest but watching from start to finish and looking at the stats there can't be too many complaints. Fed actually played well but the key points didn't go his way and that made the difference. Failing to convert the break points in set 1 was clearly a big miss as Ramos only created 2 of his own in the match, both in game 8 of set 3, and he made them count to close it out.
Quick Match Recap
Ramos won the toss and elected to receive; Roger then held to 15 to get things underway. Ramos has a tricky lefty serve but he was under immediate pressure, saving 2 break points before holding to level 1-1.
Both players then exchanged comfortable holds, with Roger winning virtually every point behind his first serve, holding three times to love for a 4-3 lead. Ramos kept pace though, using his lefty serve out wide on the ad court to good effect and after Roger held from 0-30 at 5-5 the Spaniard levelled to force a tie break. Into the breaker and Ramos quickly moved up a mini break to hold a 5-2 lead. Roger won his next two service points but Ramos didn't let the advantage slip, taking it 7-4.
Set 2 saw Federer create 0-30 in the opening game but again Ramos held firm. Roger's serve however was yet to be troubled and he again held with ease before breaking at 2-2, quickly consolidating and breaking again for 5-2 before taking the set 6-2. Normal service resumed or so it seemed.
The decider was again exceptionally close with neither player really giving too much away on serve however in Game 8 Ramos made his move, creating his first break points of the match and converting the second courtesy of a great return that put Federer immediately on the defensive. The lefty then served it out to 30 in confident style.
|A. Ramos-Vinolas||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||75%||71%|
|1st Serve Points Won||60/87 (69%)||46/55 (84%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||15/29 (52%)||13/22 (59%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/6 (67%)||1/2 (50%)|
|Service Games Played||15||14|
|1st Return Points Won||9/55 (16%)||27/87 (31%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||9/22 (41%)||14/29 (48%)|
|Break Points Won||1/2 (50%)||2/6 (33%)|
|Return Games Played||14||15|
|Net Points Won||5/8||25/32|
|Total Service Points Won||75/116 (65%)||59/77 (77%)|
|Total Return Points Won||18/77 (23%)||41/116 (35%)|
|Total Points Won||93/193 (48%)||100/193 (52%)|
Thoughts on the Match
Not a lot to say really other than a disappointing loss but not caused by a terrible performance. Obviously it wasn't vintage Federer but he won 7 more points in the match, served at 71% and generally had better numbers in every column than his opponent. It is really just one of those matches that shows how unique the tennis scoring system is and matches can be decided by just 1 or 2 points.
Had Roger taken those break points in set 1 he'd have probably cruised the match but Ramos held, didn't let his level drop in 2 hours and actually upped it deep in the third to come out on top. Aside from the missed chances early, Federer looked a little rusty and just lacked that match toughness on the bigger points. Ramos did a stellar job of hitting virtually all his groundstrokes into his backhand which drew plenty errors or spread the court enough to put away the winner and that helped him get over the line.
Anyway next stop Basel as per Federer's schedule and it starts on on Monday 26th October. I guess if he somehow decided to play Vienna next week then we'll know Shanghai was a complete tank job 😆
What did you make of the loss? Let me know in the comments.