The biggest men’s event in Asia kicked off this weekend in Shanghai, China, site of the Rolex Masters. Leading the way are former champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic who have combined to win the event five times.
Federer and Djokovic, who are No. 1 and 2 in the seedings, could only face off in the final, and the two could swap places in the rankings.
US Open finalist Juan Martin del Potro is also in the hunt for the No. 2 seed. Del Potro is projected to meet Federer in the semifinals.
The Swiss opens play against either Tokyo champion Daniil Medvedev or wildcard Zhang Ze. Milos Raonic could await in the third round, then Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals. The Japenese will have to likely get through Sam Querrey or Diego Schwartzman to make the last eight.
Del Potro faces danger with countryman Leo Mayer or Richard Gasquet in his opener. Then potentially Nick Kyrgios, Borna Coric or Stan Wawrinka who faces off against the young Croatian in one of the better first round matches. Del Potro is projected to meet Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals. The Austrian who won St. Petersburg last month, begins play against either Frances Tiafoe or Matthew Ebden, but he is just 2-3 at the event. Jack Sock was already upset by Peter Gojowyczk.
In the bottom half, No. 5 seed Marin Cilic and No. 4 Alexander Zverev or on a quarterfinal collision. Cilic will meet Nicolas Jarry in his first match while Zverev faces either Beijing champ Nikolaz Basilashvili or Canadian phenom Denis Shapovalov.
Three-time champion Djokovic anchors the fourth quarter. While he section is fairly light – he’ll open against Jeremy Chardy with potentially Hyeon Chung next, Kevin Anderson is stuck with Karen Khachanov and Stefanos Tsitsipas who takes on Gael Monfils in the first round.
The Big 4 have won this title the last eight years since Nikolay Davydenko won the inaugural event in 2009. Federer beat Rafael Nadal in the final last year, with the Spaniard unable to play this week due to his knee.
Along with Nadal, John Isner, Andy Murray, David Goffin, Fernando Verdasco and Fabio Fognini are also absent from the field.
MONDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE
CENTER Starts At 1:00 Pm
Matthew Ebden v Frances Tiafoe
Gael Monfils v 10 Stefanos Tsitsipas
Not Before 6:00 Pm
(WC) Stan Wawrinka v 13 Borna Coric
(WC) Yibing Wu v (WC) Zhe Li
SHOW COURT 3 Starts At 1:00 Pm
Andrey Rublev v Roberto Bautista Agut
Not Before 2:30 Pm
9 Diego Schwartzman v Sam Querrey
(Q) Mackenzie McDonald v 14 Milos Raonic
(Q) Bradley Klahn v Nick Kyrgios
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