ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererShanghai Masters

Federer Sees Off Ramos Vinolas in Shangai Opener

The Swiss played authoritatively to record a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory and move into Round 3.

Roger Federer is through to the last sixteen at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena
thanks to a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Albert Ramos Vinolas in 1 hour and 24 minutes.

It was a confident performance from the Swiss to see off the man who beat him in Shanghai four years ago and he was able to dominate the first set before prevailing in a closer second set that ended in a tie break.

Federer will next face David Goffin or Mikhail Kukushkin who play tomorrow. Whoever he plays he'll head in as the favourite, having recovered from his injury affected US Open loss with two wins in the singles at the Laver Cup and today's victory where he didn't face a single breakpoint.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Ramos Shanghai 2r

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. The Swiss made an impressive start to fashion two break points but Ramos Vinolas was able to hold after an 8-minute game to move up 1-0.

Federer was quickly level with a 1-minute hold but a more straightforward game for the Spaniard saw him move up 2-1 with a hold to fifteen.

Another Federer special saw the Swiss hold to love for 2-2. He was then able to fashion his third break point of the day at 30-40, but a smart slice from Ramos saved it. A smart serve out wide gave the Spaniard game point but then Roger reeled off three straight points with some relentless aggression from the baseline to break for 3-2.

A love hold consolidated the break for 4-2 and Fed was soon up a double break, firing a forehand winner into the open court to lead 5-2.

The two-time champion didn't need long to seal the set, doing so to thirty with more strong serving and he'd dropped just one point behind his first serve in just over half an hour of play.

Into set two and Ramos Vinolas kicked up with a hold to thirty. Federer was again quickly level with some more crisp hitting to level.

In game four, Ramos created a window of opportunity at 0-30 but Roger won the next three points to hold a game point. The Spaniard was able to fashion his first deuce of the match but Federer held to level at 2-2.

That was soon 4-4 with Ramos starting to find some nice rhythm from the baseline and take care of his service games with ease.

Fortunately, Roger's serve was equally on point and the pair ended up in a tie break.

Into the breaker and a missed volley handed Ramos Vinolas the early mini-break for 2-0. That was quickly 4-1 and it appeared to be turning in to a sloppy breaker from the Swiss. However, he knuckled down, holding his next two serves and then recovering the mini-break for 4-4.

Poor footwork then saw Fed miss an easy backhand as Ramos held for 5-4. However, some first strike tennis from Fed got him up 6-5 and he was able to convert his first match point with a volley put away to move into round 3.

Match Stats

Shanghai Masters 1000 R2 Albert Ramos Vinolas Roger Federer
Aces 7 8
Double Faults 4 0
1st Serve 59% (43/73) 80% (43/54)
1st Serve Points Won 60% (26/43) 91% (39/43)
2nd Serve Points Won 70% (21/30) 64% (7/11)
Break Points Saved 60% (3/5) 0% (0/0)
Service Games Played 10 10
1st Serve Return Points Won 9% (4/43) 40% (17/43)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 36% (4/11) 30% (9/30)
Break Points Converted 0% (0/0) 40% (2/5)
Return Games Played 10 10
Winners 12 32
Unforced Errors 19 31
Net Points Won 40% (2/5) 81% (17/21)
Service Points Won 64% (47/73) 85% (46/54)
Return Points Won 15% (8/54) 36% (26/73)
Total Points Won 43% (55/127) 57% (72/127)

Shots of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Ramos Shanghai 19

A confident start from Federer here and I thought he looked razor-sharp. From the very first point, he was up on the baseline taking it early and could easily have broken in the first game if it wasn't for a couple of errors.

Even though Ramos Vinolas held after eight minutes, he was back serving again in just over a minutes time and Roger was able to take full control from game four onwards, winning five games in a row to take the first set dropping just four points on serve and firing some stylish backhand winners.

In the second I thought he took his foot off the gas just a tad but Ramos Vinolas never goes down without a fight. The Spaniard played smartly and used the outwide serve on the deuce court to catch Federer out a number of times as he was leaning to his backhand side. However, Roger was still the guy forcing the issue and after a sloppy start to the breaker, he had a little bit of luck plus tightened up his game to come through.

So an A+ performance with the backhand looking good, serve rock solid and I like his refusal to give up any ground on the baseline. Obviously not facing a guy who hits the cover off the ball but it was an impressive way to come out the blocks here in Shanghai.

Predictions vs Goffin

Next up is David Goffin who went through after Mikhail Kukushkin retired when trailing a set and 0-3. Federer leads the H2H with the Belgian 9-1 and gave him a complete schooling at this year's US Open. The H2H on outdoor hard is 3-0 in favour of the Swiss so he's a big betting favourite when they meet here in Shangai.

However, Goffin has had some solid results this summer, making the final in Cincinnati and the semi-finals more recently in Japan at the Tokyo event so you can never take him lightly.

Goffin's problem has always been a lack of firepower and he tends to get bullied against the top guys. Great mover, hits fairly big off the ground in terms of pace on the ball but he's not hitting with huge spin which plays into Federer's hands as his grip works so well against waist high balls on both wings so he can really work the ball around the court.

I'll pick Fed in two.

What did you guys think of Roger's first match in Shanghai? Predictions against Goffin? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Great to see first match always difficult but he did brilliant ! Through that’s all
    that matters

  2. A tad bit amount of errors, but treats of brilliances too. Very entertaining match. Ramos tricky esp. in second set, and Rog slightly nervous I guess from his quite frequent “come ons” when things went (unexpected?) well. And agree – super sharp today, our young favorite.

  3. Awesome display of serves and backhands from Roger. Good to see him move well and strike the ball bell so early in the tournament. Closed roof certainly helped with playing a clean game. Watching the game, didn’t realize that he made so many unforced in 2 sets. That stat should only get better from here, I hope. Certainly goes in as favorite to move to quarters.

  4. Some of the unforced errors were Roger testing his slapped backhand return.
    A very entertaining and fast paced match with some brilliant points. Vinolas is no slouch and added much value to Rogers’s victory.
    The camera closer to the ground is great. One can see how much the ball drops just after the net. If only I could hit the ball with 1/10 of that top spin…

  5. Excellent first set, got a teeny bit lucky at the end of the tiebreak but a good win.
    Backhand excellent, moving fluidly, well done Fed.
    Sir Andy reminding us all how much we have missed him, the huge mouth, the moans and groans,
    arguing with his opponent.Yes I know the Fog can be annoying but a bit of restraint might be nice.
    It was however a close match and quite entertaining.

    1. Ye he could have been 5-0 down had ARV gone down the line instead of cross court on that retrieval.

      Fognini is funny, his antics aren’t exactly a surprise, dunno why Murray got involved.

  6. Such a joy to watch when his serve is on song. With some unreal half volleys and dry volleys, it was a great 1st match. I was a bit worried about him possibly being tired or lack of practice as he’s been in hyper mood rushing around for sponsor events since he landed in Shanghai. Not mention being lively ever as Twitterer!!
    And you, Jonathan – the recap up as quick as Fed’s service game. How do you do it?

    1. Jon is tossing the paper at the right height, swinging the pen in the same movement and landing the finished text on the far corner of the desk at the first attempt.

  7. Looking great for his first match against an opponent who’d already had one. Agree w/ Wanda about some of those volleys. I too noticed he looked like he was practicing putting warp-speed on the ball here & there; maybe that’s really just a function of a different camera angle & they’ve always been like that.

    Hard to think he won’t make it through vs. Goffin, though we don’t want him complacent either.

    1. Definitely looked like he was going after the backhand more, really laid down the hammer on some of those cross court ones. I think the bounce helps, doesn’t look that high in Shanghai and there are few better on the BH side of waist high balls or below with how Fed sets up.

  8. Lovely match from the GOAT! If he keeps serving like that his options to advance to later stages are huge… # GoRoger

  9. Thanks Jonathan. Just saw some highlights. A pretty good first match, though UFEs are high. Roger appears to hit his BH really hard πŸ™‚ . Ramos played really well with excellent slices. Allez!

  10. Just read this and watched highlights. Very happy for a first match. Nice serve stats indeed! Goffin will be tougher tho, hoping for more net play from Fed.

    Fun antics from Muzz/Fogna. Why do ppl get so upset? It’s std stuff in a winner takes all, tense competitive match. Andy knows what he’ll get with Fabio and shld not rise to it! Haha! All good fun

      1. It was like a Seinfeld script: funny about something with zero substance.
        Murray-the-moaner said he was looking at some direction from where he heard a noise that made him miss a volley (was it?). Then Fabio told him to stop looking at him, a few times. From there on it must have been like a couple of children on a circular arguing.

        “Are you looking at me?”
        Or maybe he was trying to impersonate Travis Bickle…

  11. The guy that amazes me in China is the MC / interpreter. He was in Beijing as well. He can listen for ages and then rattle off a huge amount of a speech.
    Thanks for the write-up as usual, big J.
    Caught the end of the Murray Fognini match, that was entertaining. Haven’t seen the Fed match yet but the highlights are great.

      1. If you watch the Beijing final, he is translating the final speeches. The player rattles on for ages and he translates. I know I couldn’t remember it all. πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve removed them πŸ™‚ not many people voted and even though I liked them, some of the markup wasn’t right for a ‘tennis match’ so I took them down.

  12. Can anyone clarify Fed’s off-season exhibition madness, please? Which one is a fake news, Saudi Arabia, Hangzhou, South America and South Africa?!

    1. Hey Wanda, I read somewhere Fed is adding 100,000 miles to his already busy schedule. I think it’s way too ambitious and fingers crossed he isn’t heading for burnout and/or injury.

      AND, time to vote for fan favourite!

  13. I couldn’t watch Fed vs ARV as I am in Nadal’s country for work for several days with a whimsical WiFi connection in the hotel I stay in.
    But the few hotshots I could see and Jon’s report make me think Fed is highly motivated to play well in Shanghai and I am happy that his serve seems to be dazzling as a new fire engine.Β  Let’s hope theΒ  fans’ favourite fireman is going to extinguish all his counterparts… 4 more to go !

      1. Ah cool, nice city away from all the tourist stuff. Gracia is cool. All work or some play? I liked doing the pincho bars around poble-sec.

  14. Hey all, so glad Roger won his match. I thought it would be 2015 all over again… Roger being soooo busy with all his sponsor commitments and then losing in the first match. Phew, he won. Ofcourse David will not be easy, it will not be like USO….

  15. Oh and Jon, I don’t know what to think about all Roger’s exho’s… I am loving it, we will see him playing more. But on the other hand… he is 38 now and not 31. He loved it in 2012 and it was good for him, but look what happened in 2013. And while he is playing all these exho’s, the others are preparing for AO, etc. I mean Rafa is at 19. He will make damn sure that he wins AO so all he has to do is win RG to surpass Roger. And what happens when Rafa wins AO and RG?? He has a chance at Wimby to also win 4 in a row… I know not many are worried about these things, but I am !!! There is a good chance that Roger will be surpassed, but I don’t want it to be by Rafa or Djoko, I want Roger to surpass himself… you know… all the way up to 25 πŸ™‚

  16. Jon, to answer your question about Barcelona : my days are as busy as Roger’s calendar over oct-dec.Β  Lots of meetings. Just 2 dinners out of the hotel, one on top of Montjuic tonight.. Grey sky and a few rain drops today… booh….Β 

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