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
Thoughts on Federer's Draw
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 😆
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?