The Shanghai Rolex Masters 2013 draw is out and it looks fairly decent from Roger's perspective as he's landed in Djokovic's Quarter and has some potentially nice matchups should he make the latter stages.
It's of course the first time he's played since the US Open where he played a terrible match vs. Robredo so nothing is a given in Shanghai but I am assuming he's put in the hard yards in Dubai since then and should be coming here pretty hungry for success.
He certainly looks like he's shed a few pounds in the pictures I have seen so far so I will be paying particular attention to his movement and how he defends on the forehand side. As I posted earlier in the week it looks like he's sticking with the Pro Staff 90 so we don't have a new racquet to look forward to just yet.
Federer's Potential Opponents
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2:Hewitt / Seppi
- Round 3: Gasquet / Monfils
- Quarter Finals: Djokovic
- Semi Finals: Ferrer / Tsonga
- Finals: Nadal
So in terms of the draw I think it's quite tricky but surely the sort of draw Roger would want, his first match is against either Hewitt or Seppi, that's a tough one to call.
Hewitt is a tough competitor but just got dumped out of Beijing by Fognini however he did win the Masters Cup in Shanghai in 2002 beating Roger in the semi finals so playing well their isn't alien to him. Seppi is also a top player on his day so really this one is a coin flip and I'll pick Hewitt.
The third round doesn't get any easier with Roger's likely opponent being Richard Gasquet who is playing in the Semi Finals of Beijing later today vs. Djokovic. Gasquet has been in a real run of form lately making the semis at the USO so he can be a danger. I do pick Fed though in that type of match up as he's just better in every department.
The quarter finals should he make it will be extremely tricky as he'll face defending champion Djokovic who has a good record in Shanghai and should be motivated considering he's slipped back to number 2 in the rankings.
The semi is a little easier with his seeded opponents being Ferrer or Tsonga and then of course the final would be against Nadal who is still flying high post US Open.
It is always a tough draw here because it is always such a strong tournament being an ATP Masters 1000,” said Federer. “It’s a difficult first match for me. It would be great to play Lleyton, we go back a long way and I remember playing him in Shanghai when the first Masters Cup was here, he beat me in the semifinals and went on to win the tournament. We have had some amazing matches. Even if I play Seppi, that will also be tough because he is a very good player. I have been coming to Shanghai almost every year since 2002 and this is one of my favourite tournaments of the year and we look forward to a good week.
- Roger to make the final
- Nadal to lose before the semi finals
- Neither Tsonga or Ferrer make the semis
- Del Potro to face Federer in the final
Pure guesswork with a little tennis inutition 😛 I honestly have no idea what to expect from Roger but I think he will have a good tournament, everyone is quick to point out that he hasn't won in Shanghai since it became a Masters 1000 event but his record there is very good.
Even in 2010 and 2012 where he was losing finalist and semi finalist respectively I thought he played really solid tournaments and looked extremely sharp.
I think he likes the atmosphere and the court on the Qi Zhong Stadium so hopefully he pieces a run together.
Federer Zhang Doubles
It was announced a few weeks ago but I never covered it on the blog and it's the news that Roger is also playing doubles in Shanghai with Chinese number one Zhang Ze. It's really just for the fans and a great idea for the tournament so it might be quite fun to watch, especially if they play well.
Their first match is against Kevin Anderson and Dimitry Tursunov so it won't be easy that's for sure, Anderson has a huge serve and Tursunov is vastly experienced so I'd be surprised if they win that.
I'm guessing Fed will play in some form of exhibition mode so expect some audacious volleys, lobs and the like if you plan to watch.
Nadal Returns to Number 1 – Race for London Wide Open
The main story from Beijing is that Nadal returned to number one after Berdych retired trailing 4-2 in the first set. Nadal's return to the top has no real impact on Roger but it does mean the race for London is now more interesting as Berdych will have question marks over his fitness for Shanghai and beyond.
Both Wawrinka and Tsonga failed to capitalise this week as they both crashed out relatively early in Beijing and Tokyo, but on the flip side Raonic, Del Potro and Gasquet are all right there in the mixer.
I think Roger should be able to qualify without too much hassle but if he does poorly in Shanghai he will need to take a wildcard into Vienna which has been rumoured. I guess we just have to wait and see.
What do you guys think about Federer's chances in Shanghai? Good, bad or indifferent?