Ramos-Vinolas Stuns Federer In Shanghai Opener
Spaniard records first Top 10 win to stun defending champ
What a way to get your first Top 10 win. Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos-Vinolas has stunned Roger Federer in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters after beating the second seed 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3 on Tuesday evening.
Going into the contest, the No. 70-ranked Ramos-Vinolas was 0-15 against Top 10 players and had won just two sets. But the 27-year-old Spaniard played fearless tennis as he shocked defending Shanghai champion Federer in just over two hours.
Federer failed to convert two break points in Ramos-Vinolas’ opening service game and would rue his missed opportunity as Ramos-Vinolas went on to sneak the first set in the ensuing tie-break.
The Swiss hit back strongly in the second set, breaking in the fifth and seventh games to level the match, but could not carry his momentum into the deciding set. Ramos-Vinolas earned a crucial break in the eighth game and went on to serve out victory to 30.
"I'm really happy to beat Roger Federer," said Ramos-Vinolas. "I didn't expect it during the match. After the second set I thought I would lose. But I played really good. I was very solid with my serve in the third set. I am very happy because it's the most important victory for me."
Federer was playing for the first time in three weeks, since helping Switzerland to a Davis Cup World Group Play-off victory over The Netherlands. The Basel native has already punched his ticket to the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and was looking to win his sixth title of the season this week.
Ramos-Vinolas, a quarter-finalist earlier this year in Auckland and Geneva, goes on to challenge Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the quarter-finals. The 16th-seeded Tsonga closed Tuesday’s play with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Victor Estrella Burgos.
In an all-Croatian contest, Marin Cilic defeated rising star Borna Coric 6-1, 6-2 in just 62 minutes. The 2014 US Open champion lost just six points on serve as he won the pair’s first meeting.
Gilles Simon finished strongly to defeat qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in one hour and 33 minutes. The 10th-seeded Frenchman reached the final in Shanghai last year (l. to Federer) and goes on to face Leonardo Mayer for a place in the third round.