The Shanghai Rolex Masters draw took place this morning and it's Roger's first ATP tournament back since his US Open loss to Juan Martin Del Potro. The Swiss is already in the Chinese Municipality after a brief stop in Tokyo to promote some new Nike Jordan footwear and practiced yesterday against Robin Haase. You can see his projected opponents below based on seeding and the full draw in .PDF format.
Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Diego Schwartzman
- Round 3: Jack Sock
- Quarter Final: David Goffin
- Semi Final: Sascha Zverev
- Final: Rafael Nadal
Thoughts on the Draw
So after the customary bye, Roger will face either a qualifier or the in-form Schwartzman. The Argentine lost in the semifinals in Tokyo today against Goffin and made the Quarter Finals at the US Open so he's a very tough opening match. He lacks height so his serve's a weakness but his speed, shotmaking and all-around game are very solid, thanks to that he was able to take a set of Roger the last time they met in Istanbul two years ago and I wouldn't be surprised if he got one here as well. He's certainly got all the hallmarks of a potential banana skin with his game style. I'll pick Fed to come through but it might be reminiscent of another match in Shanghai against a slightly taller Argie a few years ago 😉
Round 3 has Jack Sock as the seeded opponent but both Karlovic and Lopez are potential second-round opposition for him. If the courts are playing quickly it wouldn't surprise me if Ivo came through so it's anyone guess who makes round three from that section. If it's Sock then I can't see Fed being troubled, the American can play well for short periods but even over three sets his game fades and his second serve looked dreadful at the Laver Cup.
Into the Quarter Finals and Tokyo finalist David Goffin is the top seed. I'm expecting him to be tired as he's played a tonne of tennis in the last fortnight, winning his first title in three years in Shenzhen last weekend. Agut is also in this section and he's my pick to come through as he made the final in Shanghai last year and likes the conditions.
As for the last four, Zverev is the top seed and he's playing today in Beijing against Kyrgios. Like Goffin, he might be tired so it's quite an open section with Thiem, Del Potro, in form Dzhumur and Isner all in with a shout.
Then the final has Nadal in the other side of the draw and top seed. He has Dimitrov, Pouille, Kyrgios, Querrey and Anderson in his side of the draw, so plenty potential tests depending on the how the draw shapes up.
How Will Federer Perform?
Your guess is as good as mine 🙂 if this was the first time he'd stepped on the court since New York then there would be huge doubts over his fitness but the Laver Cup gave some indications that he was in better shape. He wasn't moving his best from the corners in Prague but didn't look in any discomfort so hopefully, he's continued that upward trend. Judging from the practice pictures he looks in good spirits so we'll see what happens early next week. I do think Schwartzman is a tough opponent to face from a cold start but I'm looking forward to it as there styles match up well.
What do you guys think of the draw? Expectations for Shanghai? Let me know in the comments.