Roger Federer got his Shanghai Masters campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday, as he beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets at Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena.
The Swiss, seeded second at the competition, flew out of the traps and had far too much quality for his opponent in a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory.
The clash of the day saw Andy Murray let Fabio Fognini off the hook in a thrilling contest, as he twice missed chances to serve out the match in the third set; the Italian eventually came through in a deciding tiebreak. U.S. Open finalist Daniil Medvedev also progressed, as he coasted to a win over Cameron Norrie.
Earlier in the day, ninth seed Gael Monfils was dumped out by Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets.
Selected Tuesday Results
(1) Roger Federer bt. Albert Ramos-Vinolas: 6-2, 7-6 (5)
(3) Daniil Medvedev bt. Cameron Norrie: 6-3, 6-1
Hubert Hurkacz bt. (9) Gael Monfils: 6-2, 7-6 (1)
(10) Fabio Fognini bt. Andy Murray: 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (2)
(11) Matteo Berrettini bt. Jan-Lennard Struff: 6-2, 6-1
(13) David Goffin bt. Richard Gasquet: 6-2, 6-3
(15) Nikoloz Basilashvili bt. Benoit Paire: 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
(16) John Isner bt. Alex De Minaur: 7-6 (1), 6-4
For results in full, visit the ATP website.
Wednesday Schedule - Selected Matches
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. (6) Stefanos Tsitsipas
(5) Alexander Zverev vs. Jeremy Chardy
(1) Novak Djokovic vs. Denis Shapovalov
Pablo Carreno Busta vs. (4) Dominic Thiem
Cristian Garin vs. (11) Matteo Berrettini
Taylor Fritz vs. (7) Karen Khachanov
John Millman vs. Andrey Rublev
(13) David Goffin vs. Mikhail Kukushkin
For the schedule in full, visit the ATP website.
When Federer is playing at his best, there's often little an opposition player can do to halt him. That's exactly what happened to Ramos-Vinolas in the first set on Tuesday.
From the off, the Swiss was able to dominate his opponent from the back of the court. Federer also picked his moments to come in at the right time, showcasing trademark finesse at the net in the process:
After romping to the first set, the second was a much tighter encounter.
That meant the Spaniard was able to push Federer into a tiebreak in the second set, and at one stage he led 4-1 in it. However, the 20-time Grand Slam champions was able to win six out of the next seven points to ensure the contest didn't go to a decider.
Medvedev didn't have any issues in his match with Norrie. George Bellshaw of Metro noted the possible consequences of the loss for the Briton:
The standout match of the day on paper always looked likely to be between Murray and Fognini, and the duo engaged in a gripping battle.
Neither player slipped into their rhythm early in the first set. However, after finding himself a break down, the Italian was able to string together some form, recovering to get the set back on serve and then edging the tiebreak.
Murray, who is still working back to full fitness after hip surgery earlier in the year, had to dig deep in the second stanza and was able to frustrate his opponent with some canny play.
The three-time Grand Slam champion clinched the set to take the match into a decider. Despite missing most of the year due to injury, Murray showed no signs of fading at the start of the third:
At the end of the decider, Murray missed two huge opportunities to win the match. The Scot broke his opponent twice to go 5-4 and 6-5 up, only to fail to serve out the contest on both occasions, giving Fognini the chance to win the match in a tiebreak.
Per Bellshaw, the match was becoming tense for both players at this stage:
George Bellshaw @BellshawGeorge
Tensions boiling over. Andy Murray just told Fabio Fognini to 'shut up'. Also: 'You say the same to everyone. Mate you say the same to everyone no matter who you're playing.' To Murphy: 'He shouts and then tells me don't look at me. He just shouted in the middle of the point.'
Having let those two huge chances slip through his fingers, it was no shock to see Murray looking flat in the tiebreak. In the end, Fognini was the superior player in the breaker and advanced.
Meanwhile, it was a disappointing day for Monfils, as he was well below his best in the loss to Hurkacz. The Frenchman was slow getting into the game and although he improved in the second set, the Pole was stronger on the critical points.
On Wednesday, top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic will get his tournament under way against Denis Shapovalov, while rising stars Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will also be in action.