ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererShanghai Masters

Shanghai Rolex Masters Draw 2017

Federer Returns to the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena

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
Full printable .PDF draw.

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.


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. Welcome back Roger and you Jonathan.
    Disappointed I wasn’t there to welcome Roger in Tokyo as was there until few weeks ago. Then realised I left Japan to see him in Prague 😆 Not an easy draw but he’s capable if he’s in good shape. Allez!

    1. I was in Tokyo during Rogers visit. Went to one of the “(not so) secret event; waited for 1hr 45min and finally got a glimpse of him, during which process I almost got run over (by RF fans) and killed. After that, I went to the airport, wait for another 3 hours in hope to see him a bit longer. I stayed till the last shanghai flight left, but I think he was on the private jet. So I’d say you didn’t miss much, esp if you were at the Laver cup. But for me that brief encounter with God was priceless!

      1. Wow a great effort, Mari. ‘Priceless’ – yep, Roger encounter is the highlight of anyone’s life.

  2. In the photo above you can see the colour of the shorts, nice. Too bad they weren’t paired with a crisp white (with a smallish pattern) or black polo.
    As I scan through the draw, it’s all about who can Roger beat and who can take out the now enemy Nadal. I believe Goffin and NK will be tired. With Zverev losing today he will have a bit more rest.
    Interesting…they gave Shapo a wildcard. Schartzman, a dangerous opener. Wonder if the fam will be there?

    Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canucks!

    1. Thank you for Thanksgiving greetings. 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised that they gave Shapo a WC. He should have a good chance against Trocki in !R, but Thiem would be very tough.

      Now we just need Fed to win in Shanghai and all will be well in the tennis universe.

  3. Hi Jonathan,
    Good to hear from you with good news Roger will be back in action, we certainly have missed him. Nadal seems to keep winning… the rivalry back????? Grrrrr…..Go Roger!

  4. Tough 1R but if he comes thru that I expect good things. My puzzle is Nadal. Where has this surge of both form and health come from? Usually he starts breaking down at this stage in the season. Those knees are looking ominously solid….counting on Nick ( who was just fantastic today) to take him out. Sascha’s game was very exposed today I thought. Needs to get up that court. Hoping Fed comes to net more than he has of late, as a few of his oppo are looking very consistent from the back. Allez

    1. I’ve been wondering that too, Susie. Actually, from what Jon says, on paper Rafa’s draw looks quite tough, but what’s the betting something will go wrong with that? Roger – well, I’m still not sure how match fit he is, so I’m not making any predictions. Would be nice if he could get through the rest of the year without any more injury problems.

    2. People were joking about this but now I really think Nadal jumping on Roger after the Laver Cup victory wasn’t so much a spontaneous thing. Half deliberate at least. Regarding Nadal’s form, tbh I smell a rat. It’s too usual given his history and age. He did go down 2 mps though against Pouille in Beijing before Pouille choked big time.

  5. Roger should have a fair chance to go deep here if he passes Diego. It may be a tricky match but I have a good feeling about it.

    Look at his sponsor obligations. This man is really a victim of his own popularity and success isn’t he. I wonder how many of these sort of events does Nadal/Djoker normally go to in a tourney and how much Roger does.

  6. Exactly, whats with Nadal? He’s supposed to crawl away in a hole by now. I don’t feel terribly confident in Fed’s back. Will he play the rest of the year with freedom of movement like the beginning of the year?

    1. Hmm in fact Kyrgios imploded today, so Nadal got another 500 points for Beijing by just showing up for the final. His form is good and without Murray and Djokovic around he’s on a good form.

      He has a 2500 point edge or so now, so I think No.1 is out . I ‘d like to see Fed win the WTF, it his back can hold up.

    2. Yeah, I can’t see Nadal giving up year end number 1 now, got a healthy lead. The tour is in bad shape really, when are some of these guys going to break through?!

      Dimitrov again can’t do it.

      1. Yeah number one should be locked in for Rafa – and deservedly, too, since it’s not what you win, it’s what you lose as well.

        That said, number one is a really artificial construct and I think winning Wimbledon is of greater value than anywhere else in the minds of the players. WTF also do count to an extent, so whoever takes that of the two will probably have had the “better” year.

  7. Back to Rog! –
    PRF on his new site – although in the start mostly about Dominic Thiem – has nevertheless made a section about our hero as well – well PRF is a fed-fan originally, and still he is so – now a double-fan.

  8. Looking forward to see Fed playing again, although hard first round…..because I always feel his first round match
    at this tournament is a nailbiter! Not being a Nadal fan I have to admit he has been playing surprisingly good even if NK all but handed him the match, as a tennis follower I can’t quite understand how Rafa’s serving speed seems to get faster at times why not all the time, his first US Open win comes to mind. However hope the main man has had enough enjoyment and remembers he’s a tennis player not a dancer so C’mon Roger x

      1. Agree Jonathan why didn’t he? Great tennis player as NK could be if he had brains
        he would be dangerous! x

  9. The word ‘shanghai’ originally meant forcing someone to join a ship lacking a full crew by drugging him or using underhand means. Now it means getting someone to do something against his wishes.

    It looked like Nick Kyrgios was ‘shanghaied’ in Shanghai and the moment he got his first opportunity he jumped ship, so to speak.

    So one less opponent for Rafa. Fed if he is fully fit ( which no one seems to be confirming as of now ) will face a resurgent Rafa in the finals for sure. Wonder how Rafa is moving so well on hardcourts. at this stage of the season. Rarely happened before. Bionic !!!

    1. Essence of a “Fedfan”. If Nadal wins Beijing and is in form and going maybe to win more this year, it must be bionics. What about Fed winning Shanghai and maybe some others including WTF? An old man with bad back – what could it be? Wizardry or maybe divine intervention? Or Meldonium? Or maybe “Spanish doctors” opened practice in Basel?
      BTW – end of the year is time for strange results. Good time for outsiders (like Roger and Rafa) 😉 Heroes are tired. Only bionics can still hold. Imagine Shanghai final R vs. R. Bionics (= Devil ) vs. God. We should know from the history of so called humanity, who wins on the end.

  10. Haha you made this square? Not quite Roger-Federer-Allee but pretty good 😀

    Poland would be a decent spot for an ATP event. Katowice is popular for the WTA one…

  11. Essentially Rafa’s style is a lot of running and making the other guy also run a lot and finally one of them misses. The one who misses more loses but there is lot of running. At the same time its really not effortless running, more laboured. Thus by August, Rafa’s form dips as his legs can;t take the incessant pounding for 7 odd months and continue the good work.

    Whereas Fed doesn’t run as much as he finishes points quickly one way or another. And when he does run it looks as if he is gliding.

    In effect a bad back does not hamper him as much as tired legs does to Rafa year after year.

    And that’s why bionic this year !!!

    1. You can believe what you want but don’t make statements if you are miss the knowledge. Have you ever played tennis yourself? My guess is, you haven’t. This is why I can understand only the surface. And you completely miss the logic. Imagine Nadal playing Fed. How can Rafa get tired legs, if Fed does not allow him to run by ending points quickly. And have you ever seen distance run stats for matches? Differences are really small. And don’t tell me, the GOD is not able to run. You will see today, how he will run after Diego. Diego ist just a long-distance runner, not Nadal. Nadal optimizes the game, using angles and running rather between baseline and the net than along the baseline. Against Diego you can stay on the same position and not tun at all and send him potential winners, but he runs in every direction so long you are tired because of staying too long and was not able to hit a winner. How Roger’s and Rafa’s running looks like, it’s only aesthetic question. Roger’s running is apparently visibly lighter but the effort is the same, he maybe more easily achieves good shot positions because of running mit lots of small steps. Also don’t tell me, Rafa to be the one (like early Djokovic, now no more) to be strictly defensive player. He only starts on return from far back, but then comes ahead quickly and in most cases quicker than the opponent. His running may appear heavy, but he can perfectly optimize the ways to reach good positions (partly because of superb reading of opponent’s game). Of course Fed can all this too.

      1. And you probably did not realize, how Rafa’s game has changed since Moya is in his team. Moya is not a Spanish doctor 😉

    2. I disagree. I don’t like Nadal, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a bit degenerative to label his style as that. What is true is that he has that extra athletic component to fall back on where his game fails him, but if you assess the time he spends in and out of the baseline, but go a little further and examine how far in and out, I’d say he’s a much more aggressive player than Djokovic, Murray, and most of the more successful guys over the past decade. Nadal goes for his shots a lot, and tends to get the winners on big points more than anyone else.

      I’d also guess that his distance stats, whatever they are, do come more into perspective when you consider his serve gives him fewer free points than the other 3.

      1. You’ve gone too far the other way from what Murli said. Roadrunner to an offensive beast.

        The truth is he’s somewhere in the middle. His entire game is built on starting points at neutral, work his way into the point with his forehand, topspin and defense, get a short ball and mop up. I don’t think you can call him an aggressive player, the label doesn’t fit. You can call him a player who has struggled against certain types of aggressive players though.

      2. No that’s a fair point Jon. I didn’t mean to imply the guy is some kind of all out no margin guy. But I’d definitely say his aggression levels are higher than the tour average if that exists. I just think that because he’s so capable of defence it looks as though he wins most of his best points defending, because that’s how highlight reels work.

  12. Hello Mr. PRF, Your guess is quite correct. I haven’t played much tennis !!!

    You have taken the bionic comment too literally, I guess. Moya must have had a positive influence on Rafa for sure on the tactics front.

    But if you were to calculate the amount Rafa has run across say a finite number of matches from the beginning of the year and compare it how much Fed has run for the same amount of matches, there would be a vast difference. We are not talking about the matches between Fed & Rafa only.

    Rafa has himself gone on record many times that they should not have so many hardcourt tournaments. Not good for his knees.

    But I haven’t heard a peep from him about this in this year. Dr. Moya or what ??????

    1. Ha, ha, ha … Murli 🙂 Yes, I’m inclined to take such comments literally, because I know too much about how Fedfans “love” and respect Roger’s biggest rivals.
      Now i should suppose, you have counted Rafa’s and Roger’s distance over the season. But how for the same number of matches??? Fed did play 43 and Rafa 70, including 25 matches on clay, where rallies are longer, even for Fed, but Fed was clever and skipped clay season. But back to distances.
      You will not find stats needed, so it’s your wild guess. You have a thesis and instead of looking for proves, you say “I’m sure, (unknown) facts are for sure confirming it”. This is not good enough just for quiz, where you are a master (while you aren’t on clay or on hard either). If you master a quiz, you look for harder facts, right? And you don’t put questions, for which you don’t know answers? Now if you are not joking (and there are emojis to mark it and avoid misunderstandings), you are simply cheating (are you not Spanish for sure?) And yes, hardcourts is not that good for knees and other joints. Ask Fed. His knee was not worn out in the bathroom but just on hard courts. The bathroom was only the last drop. Now maybe some challenge for you as quiz master. Let’s create a quiz about comparison of distance run by Rafa and Fed in comparable (whatever this means) tournaments, playing comparable opponents but first deduce miles run by Rafa on clay. I promise, I will answer such a quiz without using Google 🙂

      1. And my question about your own experience on court was not a quiz-like. Incidentally I’m playing tennis regularly since 20 years, (recreation, for fun but with great intensity) have had all kinds of typical tennis injuries (elbow, shoulder, ankles, shoulder and of course knees). I cannot deliver a prove. Either you believe it or you don’t. I had also to do with physios, as patient and as colleague. Emd with tennis coaches, coaching every kind of players, kids with 6 or 8 years and 60+ kids like me ;). I’m quite sure, you would change your mind about Rafa and R+R comparisons, if you had some experience. Maybe still time to try?

      2. PRF you’re talking a mixture of riddles and shite here. What’s with all the weird sort of digs as well Mr I played Tennis for 20 years?!

        You don’t need the stats to know that Nadal covers way more ground on average per tournament than Federer. The stats were displayed at this years Aus Open ahead of the final. Sure it’s not double the amount, Roger runs plenty too, he covered more ground than Schwartzman today. But take a sample of 10, 20, 30 matches Nadal will be running on average 10-20% more, across a tournament and year that adds up. Look at where Nadal likes to play his shots from and especially return serve – way behind the baseline and as a result, he’s forced to cover more ground.

      3. Poor Nadal. He must run so much. Does not play aggressive. Only gets somehow the ball over the net. And how has he the record against Fed he just has? Poor Nadal. How is he now No. 1 and has 2 slams won this year? Poor Nadal. And going to destroy Fed in the final (if Fed reaches it).
        You wonder about me telling about own tennis experience. Try yourself and you will know after a year or 2 or 5 or 10 (depends on how long you can play and with what intensity), why this matters.

      4. Riddles and shite – you meant shit, right? It’s good point to call “shit or riddle” everything you cannot understand. Move on.

      5. I also agree with Jon that using playing experience as some kind of vindication of your points is stupid – you have not and never will play at their level, so it’s already a completely different sport. Even if you had, a lot of what you say can be rebuked simply because it makes no logical sense. You’re being reactionary to what you think is abuse to Nadal from Federer fans, but exactly what did you expect on a Federer fan site?

        This place will attract more passionate people than most, and loving fed with a passion tends to mean the opposite with Nadal.

    2. I think any middle-aged bloke sat at home on a laptop who fires out the I’ve played tennis for 20 years and you haven’t so you lack knowledge garbage is usually talking shite yes. I think I’ve even done it myself and you only ever come off looking like an absolute tit if you throw that into an argument.

      I agree with some of the stuff you say but just a weird way of going about it.

      “How Roger’s and Rafa’s running looks like, it’s only aesthetic question. Roger’s running is apparently visibly lighter but the effort is the same”

      I agree, I don’t think Fed doesn’t run. He covers plenty ground. And I don’t think Nadal is just a guy who is running and running. Like I said above his game is built on keeping points at neutral, trying to get a shortball and let his forehand take over. It’s not an aggressive game just because he hits a big forehand now and again.

      But regardless, Nadal is certainly running more on average per tournament and that’s because he’s inherently a more defensive/conservative player than Fed. That doesn’t diminish his game, again you can say it’s just aesthetic. But it’s certainly been a reason why he’s not done well indoors at the back end of the season historically. I don’t see how that’s even debatable?

      1. It’s obvious that Nadal does not play as aggresive as Federer but sometimes FedFans imply with this that Nadal does not have the shots to be it. Rafa mixes his style depending on the rival and the situation of the game. IMO he has the highest tennis IQ among all the players.

        And of course to consider a player super aggresive, super deffensive or somewhere in between does not diminish his/her quality. What matters here is winning.

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