Mandarin-speaking Federer endears himself to fans

It's not like Roger Federer needed any more love around the world but his latest exploits in China have endeared him to a new legion of fans.

 

World number two Federer, got the better of Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 7-6(4) 6-4 in his third round clash at the Shanghai Masters.

Then to the delight of his sizeable Chinese fan club, the Swiss maestro had a crack at speaking a bit of Mandarin in his post-match speech.

And like the majority of things Federer does, it was pretty impressive.

The man interviewing Federer signalled for the 19-time grand slam champion to repeat a phrase into the microphone.

To the Swiss star's credit, his pronunciation was pretty close to that of his Chinese interviewer and it was met with a rousing round of applause from those in the crowd.

It turns out Federer was telling the crowd in Mandarin that he was a role model, which let's be frank, no one can argue with.

Federer had to battle hard in his match against Schwartzman - letting slip a break in the first set to get dragged into a tiebreaker.

The 36-year-old Swiss always had an extra shot in his locker though and, having taken the opener, broke serve straight away in the second set to move toward victory.

Federer has been in fine form in China. Pic: Getty

He finished off the contest with his 14th ace, setting up a third round clash against Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov.

"It was a good win, very happy with my first match," Federer said. "I knew he was dangerous. I could have closed the first set out earlier but I started the second set very well."

Top seed Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak to 13 matches with a 6-2 6-1 demolition of American Jared Donaldson.

Nadal, who leads Federer by 2,370 points going into the home straight of a season in which the two old rivals have shared out the game's biggest prizes, was unstoppable against Donaldson and needed only 54 minutes to prevail.

The Spaniard, who like Federer has won the Shanghai title once, will face Italy's Fabio Fognini next.

With Agencies

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