Shanghai Masters Semifinal
Shanghai Masters Men's Singles Semifinals Saturday Oct 11
3-Roger Federer beat 1-Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-4
Gilles Simon beat Feliciano Lopez 6-2 7-6(1)
Federer Halts Djokovic Run, Faces Simon for Shanghai Masters Crown
shanghairolexmasters.com: October 11 2014 Shanghai, China – Roger Federer, looking for his first title in the Shanghai Rolex Masters, played vintage tennis, taking charge and calling the shots, both from the net and the baseline, to shock the world No.1 Novak Djokovic, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals late on Saturday.
Federer, who will move to the No.2 position when the new ATP rankings come out on Monday, ended the Serbian’s 28-match winning streak in China that had given him five titles in Beijing and two here at the Qi Zhong stadium.
“Just outplayed,” a stunned Djokovic said minutes after the match, “He played an incredible match tactically. He was also hitting the ball so well. He didn't give me enough opportunities to come back. He played from first to last point a very, very good match. I did not play too bad. It's just that he played everything he wanted to play. He played a perfect match.”
In the final on Sunday, Federer will take on France’s Gilles Simon, ranked 29, who was simply too solid for Feliciano Lopez, coming through 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) in the first semifinal.
Federer, wary of celebrating too early, said: “I played great. There was nothing in my game that wasn’t working today. One more match, that’s the mindset now.”
Federer said he had played to a plan in the semifinals.
“I was going to see if it (serving and volleying) worked. If it didn’t work, I would’ve done it less,” he said, “I was very happy it worked as well as it did. I was serving well, moving well. If you come to the net, you need to be very agile and explosive. I had it all today. It's very exciting playing this tennis because I think attacking tennis is the most exciting.”
An error-strewn fifth game cost the slightly tentative Djokovic the opening set. A poorly-timed forehand approach, that found the net, gave Federer double breakpoint. The Swiss, the most decorated man in tennis, then claimed the break when the Serb’s backhand landed in the net.
Federer refused to step back. A forehand down-the-line winner, breaking through the two-time champion’s defences in the opening game of the second set gave the 33-year-old father of four the early break. That was all he needed as he added grit to the guile to close out on his third match point after an hour and 36-minutes of play, taking his head-to-head record with the Serb to 19-17.
Simon is in only his second ATP Masters 1000 final, after finishing runner-up (to Andy Murray) in Madrid in 2008. In his sixth successive visit to Shanghai, having never made it past the last eight stage, the Neuchatel, Switzerland-based pro, was quickly off the blocks on Saturday. After racing through the first set, Simon showed he was ready to fight as his opponent raised his level of play in the third game of the second set, where advantage swung back and forth.
Lopez finally won the game, holding serve with serve and volley routines, but not before Simon had shown that he had his teeth in and wasn’t about to let go. Simon then played a solid tie-break, where the only point Lopez won was the fifth point where he served an ace.
Their head-to-head stands at 4-2 to Federer but interestingly in their only previous meeting on this court Simon beat Federer in the round robin stage of the Tennis Masters Cup six years ago. “It’s a great memory. It's the only Masters Cup I played,” a smiling Simon said, “I played good. I had a lot of pressure playing Roger in the opening match. I finally won. Then I lost to Novak in the semis. It was a really close match. Maybe if I have one regret in my career, it's this match because I felt I could have won it. But Novak was better. 7 5 in the third. I still remember it.”