All eyes will be on the regaining Wimbledon and US Open champion, Novak Djokovic, this week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters as the Serb attempts to close the gap on World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the race to end the year as the best player in the world.
Going for his fourth Shanghai Masters crown, Djokovic would dramatically cut Nadal’s lead to just 35 points in the year-to-date rankings should he win the title in Shanghai.
Placed in the bottom half of the draw, Djokovic will open his account against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the second round before a potential rematch of this year’s Wimbledon final against Kevin Anderson, should the two progress to the quarterfinals.
Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer could meet Juan Martin Del Potro in a blockbuster semifinal clash in what would be their 26th career meeting and a repeat of their semifinal encounter last year in Shanghai–in which Federer prevailed in three sets en route to his second Shanghai title.
Federer could meet another big hitter in Canadian Milos Raonic in the third round but would first have to navigate his way past either Russian Daniil Medvedev or China’s Ze Zhang in the second round.
Kei Nishoriki, who incidentally lost to Medvedev in the final of the Japan Open this past weekend, could also prove to be a tricky test for Federer in the quarters.
Juan Martin Del Potro finds himself in a brutal section of the draw that is loaded with the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Stan Wawrinka, and Dominic Thiem, who he could meet in the quarterfinals.
Del Potro, who won his first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells by defeating Roger Federer, will face the winner of Frenchman Richard Gasquet against Leonardo Mayer in his opening match.
Although he hasn’t been able to make a significant breakthrough at Grand Slam level as of yet, Zverev is already a three-time Masters 1000 champion. A mouth-watering matchup with Canadian rising star Denis Shapovalov could potential be the match of round two. Also in the bottom half sees fifth seed Marin Cilic and Beijing semi-finalist Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Four spots are still up for grabs in this year’s ATP World Tour Finals event in London at the beginning of November.
Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, and Del Potro have all booked their spots at this year’s showpiece event; so for Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson, and Dominic Thiem who currently hold the next four spots at present, this week could have major implications as to who will be the next to qualify for London.
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