Four years ago, Albert Ramos-Vinolas pulled off a big upset against Roger Federer in Shanghai for his first Top 10 win. On Tuesday, Federer gained revenge on the Spaniard, 6-2, 7-6 (5), in the second round of the Rolex Shanghai Masters in China.
”The draw is tough here,” Federer said during his pre-tournament interview. “It also depends on your opponents a little bit. It's not just every match on my racquet, unfortunately, but I feel like I have good energy left in the tank to go and finish strong.”
Going into the match, 46th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas had stunned Marin Cilic in the first round. He had also reached the Zhuhai semifinals two weeks ago.
Dropping just two service points in the opening set, Federer secured two breaks to take the first set from the Spaniard in just over half an hour. The second set was more competitive with both players trading holds to send it to a tiebreak. There, Ramos-Vinolas took an early lead as Federer struggled to find the court. Federer bounced back to get back on level terms, closing out the match a few points later.
Federer is bidding for his third tournament title, having won in 2014 and 2017. In 2018, the 38-year-old fell to eventual finalist Borna Coric in the semifinal. He is looking for his fourth title of season—he was victorious in Dubai, Miami and Halle—and 103rd overall.
In the third round, Federer will meet the winner of the match between David Goffin and Mikhail Kukushkin. In his head-to-head series against the two players, the second-seeded Swiss leads Goffin 9-1 and Kukushkin 3-0.