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A Sneak Preview of the ATP Shanghai Rolex Masters

October 04, 2016

- Grant Whittington

While the final Grand Slam of the tennis season has long since been played, there remains much to play for on the ATP and WTA tours. Quite aside from the upcoming tour finals that take place in November and October respectively, there are also two extremely important ATP events scheduled within the next two weeks.

The second of this is the prestigious Shanghai Masters, which chronologically is the eighth of nine Masters 1000 tournaments scheduled each year. This years’ event has already provided a talking point due to the fitness of world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic, who has announced that he is withdrawing from next week’s China Open with an elbow injury.

Who will Win this Years’ ATP Shanghai?

While Djokovic’s team is adamant that their star will return in times for the tournament, questions remain about his participation and more pointedly whether or not he will at the top of his game. This is an important consideration, as Djokovic is already the ATP Shanghai Rolex Masters favourite having beaten Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in last years’ final and won three of the previous four iterations of the tournament.

The only other winner during this period is Roger Federer, who will also be absent as he recovers from a longstanding injury.

This will open up the field for a host of other leading competitors, including Britain’s own Andy Murray. The Scot, who has taken a break from the sport after a summer that included consecutive victories at Queens Club, Wimbledon and the Summer Olympics, will return in time for the China Open and will also be looking to win his third Shanghai Masters title (having previously been victorious in 2010 and 2011).

Also in contention will be world number three and US Open winner Stan Wawrinka, who is claimed his third grand slam title with a convincing victory over Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadow. The hard-hitting and talented Swiss certainly has the power to beat anyone on his day, and he will certainly fancy his chances of succeeding given the absence of two of his primary rivals.

The Last Word

Make no mistake; a fully-fit and focused Djokovic would stand head and shoulders above his rivals. Even if he does compete, however, this year has been a relatively challenging one for the usually dominant Serb, with a career-defining win at the French Open offset by early exits at Wimbledon and the Olympics (along with his recent US Open defeat).

This could make it a tight tournament, and one that may throw up an unusual and unexpected result.

 

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