Shanghai: Roger Federer edged a resilient Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-2) to win the Shanghai Masters and claim the 81st title of his career yesterday.
Switzerland's Roger Federer poses with the Shanghai Masters trophy. The Swiss ace beat Gilles Simon 7-6, 7-6 in the final yesterday. Pic/AFP
The 17-time Grand Slam winner had blown away World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals but he found a stubborn opponent in Simon at Shanghai's Qizhong Tennis Centre.
And the 33-year-old needed two tie-breaks and saved set points in each set before making it back-to-back Masters victories following his win in Cincinnati in August.
"I feel unbelievable prestige to win this event," Federer said. "Especially putting my hands on the trophy for the first time is a good feeling, I must say," said Federer, who will replace Rafael Nadal at No 2 with his win here.
But the Swiss ace said he would not go out of his way to capture the coveted year-end World No 1 ranking. "I'm not even going to change my schedule because of it. I haven't thought about it, to be quite honest," said Federer.
"What does it need for World No 1? I'm not quite sure. I need to look into that, how realistic it is or not. I mean, it's in Novak's racquet.
He dictates. But nevertheless, I'm still going to be playing and hopefully playing well again," said Federer, who is is expected to round off 2014 at Paris, Basel and the World Tour Finals in London, with a total of 3,000 points available, potentially enough to outstrip Djokovic.