The 2010 Shanghai draw features all Top 20 ATP players, and that includes World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
Nadal and Federer, who missed Shanghai last year, landed on separate halves with the Spaniard drawing Andy Murray in his section and Roger aligned with Djokovic.
Nadal’s quarter run will take him through either Stan Wawrinka or Gilles Simon in his second round, then Jurgen Melzer or Mardy Fish in the third followed either defending champion Nikolay Davydenko or Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals.
The slumping Murray has what appears to be a comfortable path. The Scot will likely open against Radek Stepanek, then run into Nicolas Almagro with a quarterfinal date against JW Tsonga, Mikhail Youhzny or Feliciano Lopez.
In Federer’s section, the Swiss will have to deal with John Isner in the second round, then the struggling Marin Cilic with Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals. The Swede, however, must get through either Andrei Golubev or Janko Tipsarevic at the start then David Ferrer.
Djokovic drew arguably the toughest quarter. The World No. 2 could open against Ivan Ljubicic before meeting Gael Monfils in the third round. In the quarters it could be Tomas Berdych or Andy Roddick. These days it does seem that Roddick is always in the Serb’s section!
Among the many interesting first round collisions are Simon v. Wawrinka, Verdasco v. Thiemo de Bakker, Tsonga v. Lopez, Llodra v. Ferrer, Kohlschreiber v. Roddick and Gulbis v. Gasquet.
The quarterfinals by seed are: 1 Nadal v. 6 Davydenko, 4 Murray v. 8 Youhzny, 5 Soderling v. 3 Federer, 7 Berdych v. 2 Djokovic.
The semifinals by seed are: 1 Nadal v. 4 Murray, 3 Federer v. 2 Djokovic.
Among the notable absentees are Juan Martin Del Potro, David Nalbandian and Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Some early thoughts are that Murray should reach the semifinals. I also think that Djokovic, despite a tough draw, also gets through. Nadal could have some problems in his first match against Simon or Wawrinka, then further issues if Davydenko does meet him in the quarters. The Federer section is also tough to call, but with the Soderling’s form slipping a little bit I think Roger gets out of a tricky quarter.
As for a prediction, right now I’m leaning with Murray and Djokovic getting to the final. And maybe I’ll go with Novak to take home the crown.
The Tennis Channel will have wall-to-wall coverage of Shanghai starting Sunday night/early Monday morning.
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