ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererShanghai Masters

Rolex Shanghai Masters Draw 2019

Federer Looking to Kick Off The Autumn Swing in Fine Fashion

The Rolex Shanghai Masters 2019 draw took place earlier today and Federer is already in the city carrying out a raft of promotional work alongside his practice sessions.

The Swiss heads into the event as a two-time champion, playing some of his best tennis here in 2014 against Djokovic and crushing Nadal three years later in the epic 2017 season.

Can he replicate that form this year and take home his share of biggest prize money pool on the Masters 1000 circuit ($1,374,995) after navigating what looks to be a tricky draw? You can see his projected opponents below.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Marin Cilic / Albert Ramos Vinolas
  • Round 3: David Goffin
  • Quarter Final: Alexander Zverev / Borna Coric
  • Semi Final: Dominic Thiem
  • Final: Novak Djokovic

Full PDF printable draw.

Thoughts on the Draw

Shanghai Draw Thoughts 2019

First up for Roger after the customary bye looks like it could be Marin Cilic which is a tricky opening match.

However, the Croat will have to get through Ramos Vinolas in the first round which isn't easy as Roger can attest to in his loss to the Spaniard here four years ago.

Cilic has been going through a barren spell this season and although he took a set off Nadal at the US Open his level seems to have dropped compared to a couple of years ago.

Most recently he lost to Hyeon Chung in the 2nd round of Tokyo, 6-1 in the third, and even though Roger is coming in somewhat cold I'd expect him to come through given the 9-1 H2H record and Cilic's patchy form. 

Round three also sees another tricky opponent with 13th seed David Goffin as the likeliest to come through. Goffin has had a solid few months on tour and made the semi-finals in Tokyo before coming unstuck against Djokovic earlier today.

It's hard to see the Belgian making an impression if Roger is up in his higher gears but he's obviously good enough to take advantage of an off day should it not happen for the Swiss.

Should Roger progress he could then meet his new pupil, Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals. Sascha plays in the Beijing semi-finals today and after winning the Laver Cup with coaches Federer and Nadal in tow he looks to have found some form to finish the season strong.

The German is always a tricky customer as he seems to enjoy trying to beat Federer but like the Swiss, he has an awkward section with last years finalist Coric in the mix. Roger's Cincinnati conqueror Andrey Rublev is also there so he'll need to negate that to make the last eight.

For the semi-finals, fellow Laver Cup teammate Dominic Thiem is the highest seed. Thiem is currently in the last four over in Beijing and like Zverev, has so far had a decent week of tennis. Shanghai is arguably his worst Masters 1000 though, with a 2-4 losing record and he's never been past the 2nd round.

Bautista Agut is also in this section and he's the opposite of Thiem, with Shanghai statistically been his best event. The Spaniard has a 67% win rate at the Qhizong Forest Arena and he was able to make the final in 2017. Struff, Albot and Berrettini are also in this quarter and I wouldn't be surprised to see a left of field semi-finalist from this section.

As for the final, with no Nadal, Federer is the second seed so Djokovic was always going to be in the other half. Novak's shoulder injury has been the talk of the town post US Open with tons of rumours but he's made mincemeat of the field in Tokyo so far and looks to be playing without any issues. Tsitsipas, the man of the moment Medvedev, Monfils and Khacahnov are all in this half so it's not plain sailing for the World Number One.

Expectations for Federer

Fed Shanghai 19 Practise

Win, 2R, Absent, Win, Semifinal is Federer's record over the last five Shanghai tournaments so it's been a happy hunting ground for him of late.

I like his chances of making it to the business end of things yet again but with a guy like Cilic potentially first up it's not worth looking too far ahead.  The key is to come out from the blocks strong get through that first match.

What do you guys make of the draw? Predictions for Federer? Any other potential matches that have caught your eye? Let me know in the comment.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. I don’t see Fed winninf this one at all. Final is the best case scenario imo, though I can actually see an early exit. What happened to him playing in Japan?

  2. It seems to be a very homogeneous string of opponents and there are many chances for tripping over. If Roger makes it to the final, it will be a good achievement.
    About the possible match against Djokovic, I think Roger has a good chance. But to be honest I haven’t seen much of the former. He’s definitely not looking lost in translation in Tokyo. His injuries are not typically very serious. A bit like Roger, Novak doesn’t seem to put much stress on his body.
    It would be more of a mental affair about which one of them wants it more.
    But hey, first things first!

    1. Yeah Djoker doesn’t have a hugely taxing style like Nadal or Murray.

      Murray looks to be coming back nicely but surely he gotta change his gameplan a bit and do less running.

  3. Interesting draw, both for Federer and in relation to the race to London.
    For the record, Rublev defeated Rog in Cincinnati, not in New York.

  4. His win vs Djoko in 2014 was legendaric but are you sure it was in the final? I remember it as SF and then won vs Simon or the like, but may be completely wrong of course. On the photo he looks in playful spirit, that might give him a very good chance to win the trophy. For sure Djoko has no cakewalk this time!

  5. There are a several early matches this time where I don’t want either player to lose. Not in Roger’s section, of course. When Marin beat him at USO he was absolutely on fire, especially his serve, and we haven’t really seen that level from him lately. On the other hand Marin isn’t coming in as cold as Roger. Funny that they were practicing together. (I mean, they often practice together, but given where they ended up in the draw…)

    Dunno what to expect. As you say, he’s had success here in the past, he looks excited to be here, & making the final certainly looks doable if he plays freely. If he gets that far, I guess we’ll see if there really is no residual effect from Wimby. I don’t think it’s a given that he gets there – it’s a M1000, it’s supposed to be challenging opponents.

    1. I guess he and Fed are two of the first to arrive in Shanghai with everyone else playing elsewhere. Hopefully, he has got enough practice in despite all the sponsor stuff. So much going on in Shanghai – Rolex, Mercedes, Rimowa, Uniqlo.

      1. Which I suspect has contributed to derailing him in the past.

        I looked at that draw and thought “Ouch, could he have got a tougher one?”, but you say Djoko’s is just as tough, so I guess it must be par for the course. Two equally tough sides of a draw – when did we last see that, I wonder?

  6. Roger likes to finish the year strong and I’m sure that him and his team are working hard towards it. He has been in good form this year and could have had 2 slams if luck was on his side. I expect him to do well here and get to semis or finals. As always, I hope he wins it. Tricky draw, but it is always going to be like that at his age and increasing competition. Zverev/Thiem/Djokovic will all be tough, close ones if they all make it to that stage. Hope he is moving well and serving/returning well.

  7. My dream come true : Roger plays in Quito, Ecuador in an exhibition game with A Zverev in November!!
    Can’t wait, sooo happy!

  8. Hey, I watched the ST Zverev match today. Sasha was up and lost it really. I thought he was on the comeback trail. ST was better at coming forward. Looks like Z just gave up at the end. Do these young guys have to constantly look to their box for approval?
    I think that is a big part of their problem.
    As far as Shanghai, everyone has a tough draw. 🙂 Someone will get hot, hope its not Djoker.

    And it’s Fed
    In Red
    With the Bread

    1. Ye I dunno why players look over at their box every 2 minutes. Pointless. Good week for Zverev still but he will rue that tiebreak, I’ve not seen it in full but apparently missed some routine forehands? I saw the volley he dumped into the net down set point.

      Looked like he fought hard from the score in the second set though not gave up? Tsitsy was 5-1 up, got it to 5-4.

      Good week for Thiem too, seen him going to the dropper time and time again. It’s crazy how far some of these guys play behind the baseline. Thiem’s drop shots are telegraphed so early but they are still good shots as the guys have so much ground to cover.

  9. The draw for Fed does not look easy. My real problem is his form, because we have not seen him play lately. Is he in form or is he only playing because of his love for the game? I don’t think he puts in so much effort as the other guys. I think Mirka and their family is far more important to him. Only my thoughts.

    1. Who would be the other guys that put more effort in than him? The ones who are 14 years younger yet haven’t won as many titles as him this year and are still ranked below him? 😆

  10. Tricky draw, on paper he should reach at least semis. Just hope he is not to tired from all the off court stuff he is doing.

    1. Mercedes, Rimowa, Moet, Uniqlo, Credit Suisse.

      Will be tiring doing it all. At least they are semi-interesting brands. Aside from the bank, of course, which is interesting for all the wrong reasons seen as though it has a history of malfeasance.

  11. Hey Jonathan. Here I am again after gap of almost 3 months. The heartbroken Indian Federer fan after Wimbledon loss. Not much to cheer for post that as well except Laver Cup and Uniqlo store getting opened in India. After that loss I can take any other loss easily it seems.

    1. Well, I think that loss will always be lurking at the back recesses of our minds. Like a death of some sort in the career of the maestro.
      And now we can once again learn from Fed and watch him in action, happy and enjoying the moment.

      Insomnia last night lured me to the tv and the Djoker Millman final. When I watch Djoker play I think of Terminator II.

      1. Which character? The one that ended up dissolved in molten iron? Or the one that ended up charred in molten iron?

      2. Djoker playing Millman in a final? Good grief :facepalm:

        (Sorry, I’ve been a bit out of it the past few weeks, and tennis has had to fall by the wayside a bit)

  12. BTW, Jon, is it just me? The list of “Recent” posts on the right is still showing LC day 1 as the last entry.

    1. Interesting, but no mention of his back problems at USO! And, no mention of his play at LC.
      And, the so called greatest match wasn’t in 2009 vs Nadal. Actually, wasn’t the greatest match in 2017 AO?

      1. So true in everything you mentioned Sue…
        AO2017 Final is definitely the best Fed Match I’ve ever seen….

  13. Tricky first round match, can only hope Roger is on
    his toes! I truly don’t know which Fed match is the
    best, there have been so many ….maybe against
    Agassi(but not the first one) !!!

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