ATP Shanghai Final Preview: Gilles Simon v Roger Federer

Simon

Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to set up a surprise final with Gilles Simon in Shanghai.  Federer produced a marvellous performance to beat Djokovic, 6-4 6-4.  Right from the start, Federer was ultra-aggressive; he only won 9/19 net points in the first set, but he was in control of the majority of the rallies as Djokovic struggled to gain a foothold in the match.  The scoreline looked reasonably straightforward, but it was far from that in the latter stages of the second set, which proved to be compelling viewing.

Djokovic saved four break points at *1-3 down in the second set, which felt like a turning point.  When Federer went down *0-30 in his next service game, it definitely felt like a turning point.  There were many occasions when it looked like Djokovic would turn this around, but every time, Federer slammed the door shut.  Djokovic saved seven game points on Federer’s serve at *4-3, but couldn’t get the elusive break.  Federer closed out the match on a wonderful point.  This wasn’t a vintage showing from Djokovic; he made some uncharacteristic errors through the first set and a half and was struggling to get the necessary depth on his shots.  That was partly down to Federer, who played a superb match.

Gilles Simon was first into the final with a 6-2 7-6(1) victory over Feliciano Lopez.  It wasn’t a great day at the office for Lopez, but Simon delivered another confident display.  Simon’s stats were most impressive; he hit 27 winners to just 9 unforced errors and didn’t face any break points during the 80 minute contest.  Simon fully deserves his place in the final.  Three set victories over Stan Wawrinka (5-7 7-5 6-4 in R2) and Tomas Berdych (7-6 4-6 6-0 in QF) have been the highlights of his week so far, helping him on his way to a second Masters 1000 final of his career.  Previously, Simon has reached the final of Madrid, then played on a hard court, losing out to Andy Murray in two sets, 6-4 7-6(8)

Simon has two wins over Federer, both coming all the way back in 2008 in Canada and China.  Federer has since, won four consecutive matches against Simon although two of them went the distance.  Simon was in inspired form to push Federer to five sets in their Australian Open clash in 2011 coming from two sets down to level up before losing the decider.  Simon also pushed Federer all the way at Roland Garros in their last match-up, which took place in 2013.  When Simon plays aggressively, he’s *can* be a pretty lethal opponent.  I don’t think this will be a beatdown of any sorts, but Federer has to be the favourite, particularly if he can play close to the level he demonstrated in his semi-final against Djokovic.

Prediction: Federer d. Simon in 2 very tight sets

3 thoughts on “ATP Shanghai Final Preview: Gilles Simon v Roger Federer

  1. I think Simon could actually do it.
    Federer played magnificently against Djokovic, the best he has in several years now, but I think it’s unlikely he’ll be able to reproduce two days on the trot. He’s played some pretty weak tennis this week too, lets not forget.
    Gilles has actually beaten Roger. Twice. In fact the last time he beat Roger was here in Shanghai in 2008 when Nadal had just claimed the #1 ranking from Fed.

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    • Yes, that’s true. On the other hand Mayer played an excellent match and different than in the younger past Roger played the big points fantastic. If Roger plays 90% of today’s performance he will win the final in two sets. After he won the crucial match against the Argentinian he plays in the mode “I have nothing to lose anymore”. Such an 2nd life is like an extra gear. In my opinion one tight and one easy set for Roger.

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