Roger Federer claimed one of the few titles to have previously eluded him after he overcame a sluggish start to beat injured Frenchman Gilles Simon in the final of the Shanghai Masters.

The Swiss 17-time grand slam singles champion triumphed 7-6, 7-6 to register his 23rd Masters Series title and first in China, where strong winds saw the roof on the Stadium Court closed for the hard court final.

The 33-year-old let off a huge roar and threw both fists into the air after a battling Simon could only net a return to hand the Swiss a fourth title of the year and 81st of an unparalleled career.

Simon, who had knocked out Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka and sixth seed Tomas Berdych en route the final, took a medical time out for treatment on a suspected groin problem at the end of the set and looked uncomfortable upon his return.

Federer, who will move above Rafa Nadal into second spot in the world rankings when they are updated on Monday, has now won seven of the nine different Masters Series events with only the clay court Monte Carlo and Rome tournaments eluding him.

Source: Reuters