Thu, Oct 16, 11:04am by Mike Randall
It’s not often these days, that Federer wins titles for the first time – it seems like he’s won them all in his glittering career.
But that’s exactly what he did in Shangai, jagging his 81st title, but first at the event, when he defeated Frenchman 7-7 (6), 7-6 (2) in the final.
He’s now back at World Number 2, becoming the first 33 year old to hold that ranking since the great Andre Agassi in 2003.
And that was enough for our partners at Sportsbet.com.au to shave his odds into single figures for next year’s Australian Open.
“Federer showed in Shanghai that he’s still got it,” Sportsbet.com.au’s Will Byrne told AustralianGambling.com.au.
“(He has) has come in quite a bit from $11 to $8 since his win.
“Sounds strange to say, but the legend looks a great roughie for the (Australian) Open.”
Byrne told AustralianGambling.com.au Bulgarian beast Grigor Dimitrov had been the best backed to win the tournament in the early going.
“Originally (he was) $41, now $21 – one punter placed $1000 at $23,” Byrne said.
World number 1 Novak Djokovic ($2.63 with Sportsbet.com.au) is, as expected, the second best backed, while Aussie Nick Kyrgios ($51 with BetFred.com.au) is getting some love from his home country as the best backed player behind he and Dimitrov.
$2.60 Novak Djokovic
$4.50 Rafael Nadal
$6.50 Andy Murray
$11 Roger Federer
$13 Stan Wawrinka
$17 Marin Cilic
$21 Grigor Dimitrov
$21 Kei Nishikori
$26 Juan Martin del Potro
$41 Tomas Berdych
$41 Jo Wilfried Tsonga
$51 Milos Raonic
$51 Nick Kyrgios
$81 Bernard Tomic
$81 David Ferrer
$81 Ernests Gulbis
$81 Gael Monfils
$251 Lleyton Hewitt
All others over $101
* Odds provided by BetEasy.com.au
Following his hard fought win over Simon in the Shanghai Masters final, Federer said, at 33, he had taken stock of his career.
And titles were his only focus, despite him being back at World number 2.
“It is a first time trophy … I couldn’t be more proud,” Federer said.
“I love the rankings, always have and of course it’s important but, when you become older, it’s secondary, it’s about winning titles.
“I’ll come home and decide what the priorities and the plans now for the few more weeks we have left in the year and then, of course I’m already looking forward to 2015.”
The Swiss star, who was the second oldest player in the event, had a brilliant tournament, but it could have been over almost before it began – he saved five match points in his opening encounter with Leonardo Mayer.
And, in the semi final, he ended Djokovic’s remarkable run of 28 successive victories in China.
The World Number 1 could only sit back and admire the stunning play of his counterpart.
“He played a perfect match,” Djokovic said after the defeat.
“(It) is definitely one of the best matches he has played against me, that’s for sure.”
In the final, he managed to keep Simon under control, despite the Frenchman squandering set points in both.
Simon thought the match had been decided on those key moments.
“He (Federer) was always really good on those points,” Simon said.
“He just always played well at the right moment.”
Simon isn’t the first player to say that and, with the form Federer is starting to recapture, he won’t be the last, before the legend’s career draws to a close.
Mathematically, yes… but it will take an almighty effort for him to track down Novak.
The Fed is slated to play three tournamets, Novak, two.
The pair will play in the Paris Masters and World Tour Finals in London, while the Fed plays his customary home tournament in Basel.
The Fed express needs to blitz all three tournaments and hope The Djoker bombs out.
In Basel, you can bet the Fed will make finals – he’s done that in each of his last eight appearances, winning five titles.
Paris is the toughie. Novak has been a monster this year and has won there twice since 2009. Federer won in 2011.
That leaves the World Tour Finals, and we’d love to see them meet in the final, to decide who ends the year number 1.
One advantage Federer has is that he still has the chance of Davis Cup points to come. Assuming he does well against France, the tournament could be the deciding factor in the legend adding to his legacy.
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