Hey all! It's been a while, hasn't it? There hasn't been any Federer since the US Open so naturally the blog has had a bit of a down period. But after Fed-less tournaments in Metz, St. Petersberg and now Beijing & Tokyo the Shanghai Masters has finally arrived and the draw came out a few hours ago.
Roger is of course the defending the Champion after defeating Simon in last years final and he's landed a par for the course draw. You can see his projected opponents below:
Federer's Projected Opponents
- 1st Round: Bye
- 2nd Round: Sam Querrey
- 3rd Round: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
- Quarter Finak: Kei Nishikori
- Semi Final: Stan Wawrinka / Rafael Nadal
- Final: Novak Djokovic
Thoughts on the Draw
After the luxury of a bye in the first round the likely opponent in Round Two is Sam Querrey. Querrey faces a qualifier first up so he should come through and I have no real worries about him. It's more a case of will Federer pull off another between the legs lob en route to victory? 😆 Querrey has never been past the third round in Shanghai so I think Fed gets it done. Hopefully in a non-Mayer kind of way.
Round 3 could then be Tsonga, he crashed out to Haider-Maurer in Beijing after winning yet again on homesoil in Metz a week earlier. His form as usual is hard to assess but he's been on a downward curve this year so I can't see him really been a threat. Robredo's steady grinding could even see him off in the first round if he's not playing well.
After that the quarters is seeded against Nishikori who again lost at the hands of Benoit Paire in their Tokyo Semi Final. Kei took the first set against his US Open conqueror 6-1 but then faded rapidly to lose 6-1 4-6 1-6. Not great for him and he's struggled of late. Despite neither of them having a great record in Shanghai I'll pick Fognini or Anderson to make the Quarters from that section.
The semi's is then likely to be against either Stan or Nadal. Both guys are playing for titles this weekend in Tokyo and Beijing respectively. Hard to really predict who comes through that section as there's a few potential banana skins – Karlovic, Raonic, Dolgopolov, Cilic, Coric and Chardy are all dangerous. If Shanghai is low bouncing like it was last year I don't fancy Nadal's chances though as it won't suit him. If he somehow wins Beijing then he could ride the wave but it looks unlikely with Djokovic one win away from the final. As for Stan he has one solitary Quarter Final appearance in Shanghai to his name and should he win in Tokyo, he rarely follows it up by doing well in the next event he plays.
The final is then of course seeded to be against Djokovic who's pretty much schooled all comers this year. No point looking that far ahead though 🙂
It's always tough to predict in Shanghai because a number of players have barely played since the USO and the rest are very much deep into the Asian swing so I'm expecting a few weird results at the Qizhong Forest.
As for Federer it's tough to know what to expect. He's had around 4 weeks off since the US Open and has been practising in Dubai after holidaying somewhere post New York. He arrived in Shanghai Friday so will have a few days to hit on the surface before playing his first round either on Tuesday or Wednesday. There's no family in town and no Luthi either so it will all about the Skype coaching lessons this week 😆
- Djokovic to win the title
- Nadal to fall before the Semi Finals
- Verdasco to make the Quarter Finals
- Murray / Goffin to meet in a pre Davis Cup showdown
Let me know what you think of the draw.