Federer wins Shanghai Masters opener

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Albert Ramos of Spain during their first round men's singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 8, 2019. (AFP)

Ruthless Roger Federer claimed victory in his Shanghai Masters opener on Tuesday with a straight-sets win over Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The 38-year-old Swiss won 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) and plays Belgium's 13th seed David Goffin or Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in the last 16.

The third-ranked Federer is looking to end the season on a high with a fourth title of the year -- although he failed to win a 21st Grand Slam this season.

The 46th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas put up a better fight in the second set, forcing the tie break and taking a 2-0 and then 4-1 lead in it.

But cheered on by his band of local supporters, who held aloft banners proclaiming their hero "superhuman", Federer won the tie break -- and the match -- with a forehand smash.

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