Shanghai Masters PreviewJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
The Shanghai Masters is the penultimate Masters tournament of the season and this year’s competition will prove crucial in deciding five of the eight slots for the WTF final in London in November.
With men’s tennis becoming increasingly competitive inside the top 10, the Shanghai Masters will be one of the most closely fought tournaments of the year. We take a look at the season’s top competitors and those most likely to make a big impact in China this week.
Kei Nishikori comes into this competition riding high on the back of two title wins in two weeks in Japan. He’ll be looking to notch up his first Masters victory in Shanghai but there’ll be some big obstacles in his way.
Nishikori will most likely line up to play 10thseed Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round who’ll be equally desperate to fight for his place in London.
If he makes it through he could be facing Roger Federer in the quarterfinals followed by Novak Djokovic in the semifinals in what is one of the toughest draws of the competition.
Wawrinka had a superb start to 2014 but has failed to play consistently well throughout the year. His early success should be enough to help him through to London however assuming that he can pull out a fairly decent performance at the Shanghai Masters this week.
Wawrinka’s first big challenge in the tournament will be against Berdych in the quarterfinals. Will he be up to the task?
The draw seems to have been fairly kind to the number 2 seed whose toughest opponents in the early stages come in the form of powerful servers John Isner and Milos Raonic. Nadal shouldn’t have much trouble making it through to the semis and proving he is a contender for the World Tour Finals.
Despite being expected to fall at the hands of younger opponents more frequently in recent years, Federer’s performances remain impressively consistent and he continues to be a regular contender for the big titles.
The surface at the Shanghai Masters will work in his favour and he should make it through a fairly easy draw until the semifinals where he’ll meet No.1 ranked Djokovic. That should be one of the games of the tournament.
Djokovic is at the top of his game right now having claimed his fifth China Open title at the weekend with a 6-0 6-2 defeat of Tomas Berdych.
The Serbian opens his Shanghai Masters campaign against the young Dominic Thiem and could subsequently face a series of solid players including Kevin Anderson, Andy Murray, Jerzy Janowicz, Martin Klizan and David Ferrer.
The World number 1 has a lot at stake. If he takes the title at the Shanghai Masters it’ll be for the third time in four years, a feat only achieved by a handful of other players.