ATP Masters 1000Shanghai Masters

Shanghai Draw 2014: Federer Returns to Action

Hey all, it's been a while since Fed was last in action but he returns next week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters for his first tournament back after the US Open loss to Cilic.

Shanghai has been a reasonable tournament for the Swiss in sense that he always plays quite well but he's never been able to play his best in the latter stages; getting crushed by Murray in 2010 and 2012 and then losing in 3 sets last year to Gael Monfils in the Third Round. Hopefully this year he can go one better but it won't be easy, check out his projected opponents below:

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • 1st Round: Bye
  • 2nd Round: Leonardo Mayer,
  • 3rd Round: Vasek Pospisil / Roberto Bautista Agut
  • Quarter Final: Kei Nishikori / Grigor Dimitrov
  • Semi Final: Novak Djokovic / Andy Murray
  • Final: Rafael Nadal

Full .PDF draw.

Thoughts on Federer's Draw

Federer Shanghai Draw 2014

First up looks likely to be Leonardo Mayer assuming he beats Chinese Wildcard Di Wu. Mayer has been a big improver over the last couple of years and he's just achieved his highest ever ranking of 25 along with winning his first ATP title in Hamburg earlier this year. Clearly no mug and Fed will need to hit the ground running to avoid any sort of hiccups.

Don't write off the Chinese Wild Card either, he's only 23 and has won futures on outdoor hard in China before. Big step up here but buoyed by his home fans things could quite easily come good for him.

The third round opponent is tough to call with all 4 having a realistic shot of making it; Giraldo, Pospisil, Bautista-Agut and Dolgopolov all in the mix. I'll pick RBA to come through and he's an interesting one, Fed took care of him at the USO but it wasn't the easiest match despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise. Roger's form sort of tailed off after that match too. The Shanghai courts usually favour defensive type baseliners so it will be interesting to see how Fed handles him again.

Into the Quarters and Nishikori is probably the likely candidate, he's playing the final of Tokyo tomorrow though so could be tired. Dimitrov is in that section too but he's making more money as a Roger Federer impersonator these days compared to Tennis prize money so his form is unknown. For those of you interested he is available for parties, after dinner speaking and red carpet appearances, call Team8 for pricing and availability. I'll pick Istomin to take him out.

The semis is where it gets really tough with Djokovic probably the man waiting for him. Murray is there too but Djokovic took care of him comfortably today in Beijing so I can't see the Scot beating him in Shanghai either. Murray's been playing every tournament going in the East to make the World Tour Finals but from what I've seen he's having to put a ton of effort in to even get past journeymen players; as soon as he faces a top tier player like Djokovic he's done. As for the Fed vs. Djoker matchup if it happens, then Djoker on this court is very hard to beat and that's why he's 2 time defending champion.

The final is then seeded to be against Nadal. He just lost to Klizan in Beijing but I thought he looked pretty sharp really and was back to running around like Superman again, if only Beijing could use the right balls for him then things would have been different πŸ˜†

Prepare for a Djokodal final I think. Unless Stan the Man or Emperor Rao can take out Dull with some big hitting and serving.


Hard to really look past a Djokovic win here, especially if he takes down Beijing again which looks more than likely. It also looks like Federer has travelled to Shanghai without Mirka and the kids so it could be another fleeting visit that's fusing tennis with a lot of sponsorship obligations so my predictions are as follows:

  • Djokovic to win his 3rd Shanghai title
  • Federer to lose before the semi finals
  • Anderson to give Djokovic a tough match in the 3rd Round

What do you guys think of the draw? Can Fed do some damage here or has he got more focus on Basel, the WTF's then the Davis Cup final?


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. Haha! Well I have a ranking to defend lol but to be honest just got lucky with this one πŸ™‚ I almost didn’t believe it :-p
      Anyway we finally get to see Fed again πŸ˜€ let’s hope you’re wrong Jonathan and he can make a deep deep run here πŸ˜€

      1. It appeared on my twitter timeline and it said 3 secs ago so I said woooh.. then you already had your comment! congrtas mate! πŸ™‚

  1. hi johnathan good post although just like to say that Leo mayer is right handed and murray beat federer in 2010 and 2012 as federer skipped 2011

    1. Oh come on, that’s not very nice. Djokovic worked hard for all this China Open titles πŸ™‚

  2. Hard to say again. I think Djoker has it. He seems to like playing in Asia. I like your dig on Dimitrov.
    The Asian swing is my least favorite part of the year (not crazy about the clay season either). Hard to say how committed Roger is. It makes more sense to play the full swing there considering the time change.
    I wonder what’s going on with Murray. Just not the same since the surgery.
    The race to London is quite exciting this year. No one’s a shoe-in esp after the USO.

    1. As Jonathan has said, Muzza only was strong because of hard training. He didn’t have the frame to go with it. I honestly believe he’s not coming back from where he is now, just gonna hover inside the top 10 I guess. I’d be surprised by a real comeback

    2. Me either, Murray looks like he will struggle to reach the heights of slam winning days. He has played well in Shanghai though, can judge him after this week I guess seen as though he has played plenty matches to get in form.

  3. Hi Jonathan, Welcome back. You seem ready for competition. No complaining about balls, speed or grittiness of court, pain in limbs, joints, _________ (Hint, hint, lollllllllll) Hoping this will be a good run Jonathan. Looking forward for good play and reviews. Hope you enjoyed your break.

  4. This is one trophy not in Federer’s cabinet (although he did win WTF here), so it would be great to see him grab a win, but it’s hard to disagree with your prediction. Not a court which favours Feds – slow (and pretty brutal I think) – so you’ve got to think that this will be one for Djokovic (if he hasn’t got any distractions – birth is close isn’t it?). Better for Federer (I think) to save himself for Basle, Paris and just maybe another WTF. He’s got a lot on his plate though with DC to follow.

    Not sure about the whiner – so long as the ball bounces correctly, and bearing in mind his draw is, once again, relatively ‘kind’, he could get to the final. He has got possibility of Isner in 4th and Raonic in quarters but he’s had a few matches to shake off the rust, so I guess most would place him in the final.

    1. Yeah Nadal looked decent in Beijing, he ran into Klizan who made a ton of great shots and even then had to come from a break down in both sets he won. Isner could do damage if he’s fully fit and gets his forehand going but prob get ground down.

  5. Expect the unexpected, Djokovic is looking ominously good -just like this time last year- but there is so much that could ”go wrong” for the bookies! You mentioned Stan the man, if he can win a match or two and get some momentum swinging his way… Roger taking out Novak in the semis to set up a Nadal final would be alright ^^

  6. Hey there Jonathan, welcome back! Tend to agree that Shanghai very sponsor driven for Rog but Wld like to see him playing to the semis, shld be chilled as really all about the DC and WTF, and staying injury free for next 8 weeks! He seemed to be having a good time at the MoΓ«t party today, lots of champagne and dancing judging by the pictures! No Mirka to keep him in line, so having fun with the boys,Stan and Seve! Can’t see him being stressed until QF and yes, think Kei will be knackered! Gd to see Cilic return to pre US Open form!!! Hmmm? Are you thinking what I’m thinking?????
    Muzza continues to struggle but cld make London as Ferrer even worse!
    Anyway, I digress. Wld love Roger to win this but think it will be tough. And BTW, Nadal will not make the final! Waiting for Toni to retire…..

  7. I didn’t have huge expectations for Roger here, but would certainly like to see him improve on last year’s result. *Not* the easiest side of a draw to be on, but then we can’t always have things the way we want them. Anyway, with the rather erratic results of recent draws, who’s to say what’s a good and a bad draw any more?

    I just hope he still has plenty in reserve by the end of the tournament. And that the tournament is otherwise uneventful.

    1. For Alison, I agree with you that the recent tournaments have been shock loses that it would make the Shanghai Masters alot more interesting. I also hope Federer can make a decent run and gain some more valuable points. And who knows if Nadal loses early again then our Federer may have a great chance of getting the number 2 ranking. Fingers crossed πŸ™‚ Also would like Djokovic to somehow lose early thatway he too would lose a big chunk of points. Anyway that’s me praying for that situation to happen, but funny things have happened before. I say this because Djokovic is still not fully in his top gear I feel as he’s just recently been married with also a baby on the way. So I hope his mental state is all luvvy duvvy and life is great and all that fluffy time you go through. Before you know it he has lost on his way back to his wife. If only, but hey I dream and wish. πŸ™‚
      At the end of the day I just hope it’s another successful tournament for Federer.

      1. Looked brutally good today against Berdych who won my respect as took the beating in good humour though can’t hv been easy!

    2. I just watched highlights, Djoker was bang in form but Berdscat looked like he played right into his hands, just tried to hit harder and harder to win points.

      I don’t think that has ever been a game style that troubles Djoker – he owns Del Potro and Berdych in H2H for that reason.

  8. I have low expectation on Roger at Shanghai, reaching quarters is good enough for me. Though I am happy to see him back on court.

  9. I left a comment yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared. Was there a problem??

    I think you’re right anyway Jonathan, Djoko seems to have recovered from his slight funk and is looking sharp again. I’d love to see Rog get this trophy, but it’s a slow (and pretty brutal) court which does not suit him. Nadal remains to be seen – not at his best in last tournament perhaps but not far off. The draw has been relatively ‘kind’ to Nadal, and so long as the balls don’t bounce erratically (!!), we could well see him in the final.

    Nevertheless, I’m always optimistic. Could be that Djokovic will be a little distracted with the birth so close now, and one of those big hitters – Raonic, who played v well in Japan (although Nishi played better), might just take him out. Here’s hoping.

    1. Agree, think Raonic looking much improved and he cld really threaten Nadal! Think Kei will hv a let down after the home town heroics!

    2. Am a Raonic fan and would love to see him do well at this tournament, but if the courts are slow that’s not in his favour. Last year Milos made the R16 so if he makes the QFs this year that will be a step up.

    3. First time commenter’s have to wait for comments to be approved.

      I can’t see Raonic really doing much damage to Nadal, not got the ground game. Klizan showed how its done, make shots without fear of missing. Only time Dull really loses is to shotmakers – Rosol, Del Potro, Klizan. Only Djoker can hang with him without having to paint lines every point.

  10. PS: I also think that Rog would be better saving his energy for Basle etc. With the possibility of taking that first Davis Cup on the line, he needs to conserve.

    1. He IS looking scary – poor Berdych, I did feel very sorry for him. I know he’s a bit of a choker, but I really don’t think there was anything he could do. At least it wasn’t a double bagel! What else could he do but smile!

      1. You guys are totally overreacting πŸ™‚

        He has owned Berdych anyways. He is playing on one of his favorite surfaces, where he has never been beaten. He very recently won a slam and is more or less near his peak. You combine all that with Berdych having a sub part day, and you’ve got yourself a near double bagel.

        Anyone remember Roger beating Djokovic 6-0 7-6 at Cincinnati 2012?

      2. I don’t think we’re over reacting. Berdych didn’t play that bad, Novak was just all over the place.

        And Roger saved set point in that second set, not even close to what djoker gave berdych yesterday πŸ˜‰

      3. I agree with Sid.

        Berdych’s record against Djoker is a dJOKE and this is at Djokovic’s best tournament. Never in doubt this one.

  11. What’s up with Cilic? He’s busy choking away first rounds now. Couldn’t he have come back to planet Earth at the US Open!?

    1. Hi Gaurav…. Cilic lost because he had a cold, and apparently bought the wrong cough medicine. It takes a couple of days to start working. That way he won’t miss and make any Unforced Errors. Yeah Right! !!! Lol back to normal again. Unbelievable! !!!

  12. Wow very surprised Roger decided to play Shanghai, even moreso because he’s got Davis Cup on at the end of the year and he’s announced he’s going to do IPTL and an exho with Stan in December and before you know it he’ll be back in Brisbane before the year even finishes- he just doesn’t want to slow down does he?

    I’m all for Shanghai because it’s a solid tournament/organisation and the fans love Fed but I just hope this doesn’t exhaust him for the upcoming indoor season where he has more of a chance. Would be great if he could add this M1000 to his collection but I’d take another WTF any day no doubt about it. Don’t really know if anyone can beat Djoker in China, the guy has been too good for the past few years in this end of the season so Rog making the semis I think would excel my expectations of him.

    Anyway, looking for a good warmup to Basel at least and that it’s the start to a good finish for a fantastic year for Roger this year. Let’s hope Shanghai doesn’t turn into Shanglow like it did last year right Jonathan?


    1. Indeed, last year was a low point really, losing to Boredo then getting duffed up by Monfils. Been a big turn around really in the last 12 months.

  13. Meant to say, I thought you were a bit mean of Dimitrov – he’s still on a learning curve, and still improving. Rasheed is a great coach and is also realistic: he knows Dimitrov has got a ways to go. He will beat Istomen.

      1. I was still at work so I really didn’t know. I just didn’t think Istomen would trouble him.

    1. I lost all respect for the kid the moment I saw him hit one handed backhands with a Babolat!!!!! πŸ™‚

      Question for those of you who play- how much do courts cost by the hour? Do you guys have access to free public courts, or do you always have to pay to use a club’s facility? I manage to sneak into my old college’s courts- free of course (which are never used, which is a pity cause they are pretty good synthetic courts), but otherwise here in Delhi it’s usually about 2 dollars an hour at most clubs.

      The reason I ask is because my friend, who is a consultant at Bain just moved to London (some part called Acton Town?) and the courts there are 10 pounds an hour!! That’s insane once I convert it back into rupees. No wonder it took the Brits 76 years to win a damn Slam. Cause the courts are so expensive!! πŸ™‚
      (Although, by that logic India should have produced a thousand Raj Federer’s)

    2. Yeah Babolat shock horror πŸ˜€ gonna let him off as a I’m not sure he’d have good strokes playing with a Pro Staff 85.

      He looks good but I think any kid introduced young enough with basic hand eye co-ordination and some natural ability could reach a pretty high level. I reckon if I’d have picked a racquet up at 9 or 10 I’d be 20 times better than I am now.

      In the UK it’s just about getting them into it, playing it in schools, finding courts and a club and not getting excluded because you’re not from the same neck of the woods as the Henman’s πŸ™‚ We haven’t mastered anything at grass roots level though and I can say with certainty we won’t produce a slam winner for the next 50 years at least.

      As for playing over here – I’ve just joined a tennis club about 2 months ago for the first time (only played on public courts before that), so I pay a yearly membership fee and can use 4 floodlit outdoor hard courts whenever. First year is dirt cheap (Β£50) as a new member incentive but it rises to about Β£120 for year 2 I think. I’ve been playing like 2/3 times a week though since August so it works at per visit as hardly anything. I’d say a yearly membership at a club can be anywhere from Β£100 to Β£500 depending on location and facilities.

      Public courts over here are usually in parks and completely free to play on – there aren’t loads of them around though and they are usually poorly maintained especially in built up areas. I live in a pretty large city in terms of population and I can only think of 5 or 6 places with public courts. I used to play on some locally but I got sick of playing next to people using them for football and cricket ruining the nets so that’s partly why I joined a club. That and wanting to improve.

      Indoors you’re looking at anywhere from Β£10 – Β£25 per hour. Which prices most people out the market. Some clubs have indoor courts where the usage will be covered in the membership fee but you will need to pay light fees on top of that. And the initial membership price will be higher for the privilege of the indoor courts.

      Tennis is run by idiots in the UK so that’s why we don’t produce players. M25 ring focused, not played in schools and funding going to the wrong places. That’s why we have Dan Evans and James Ward as the next best after Murray. Clearly they’re strong players to a degree, but if that’s all we can produce with infinite piles of cash and top class facilities it’s not really a glowing testimonial for the LTA and Sport England. Djokovic learnt to play in a disused Swimming Pool.

  14. Where I am in Canada there are many free public outdoor hard courts. Varies in quality but most are pretty good. There are several indoor courts that are about $30/hr.
    Or you can join a posh tennis club for $45,000 and pay a monthly due of $277!

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