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Shanghai Rolex Masters 2018: There’s Still Plenty to Play For!

Shanghai Rolex Masters 2018: There’s Still Plenty to Play For!

Shanghai Rolex Masters 2018

The Shanghai Masters has always been a crowd drawer, and that is expected to be the case again this year as the top tennis stars battle it out in a quest for the much-coveted 1000 points prize.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic—in the absence of top-ranked Rafael Nadal—headline the Shanghai Rolex Masters 2018, and watching the two could be one hell of a treat considering that only 455 points separate them in the standings.

Moreover, other highly rated stars are also set to feature in hopes of boosting their chances of making it to the O2 in London next month for the annual year-end competition.

Talking Points

Eyes at the top for Djokovic

After Nadal announced he would be skipping the China Open and the Shanghai Masters, all the focus shifted on the in-form Djokovic who has been on a roll since reaching the semi-finals of the Italian Open last May.

Djokovic won back-to-back major titles in Wimbledon and US Open, and he is well on pace to challenge Nadal for the top spot in Shanghai.

The Spaniard is set to lose points due to his absence, and it could be the perfect opportunity for Djokovic to gain some ground in reclaiming the World No.1 ranking. Just reaching the final will help the Serbian star leapfrog Federer for no.2, and winning it all should give him a legitimate shot at toppling Nadal from the summit.

Sure enough, the draw might prove tricky for the Serb and his path to the final won’t be easy. He is in the same half of the draw with the likes of Kevin Anderson, Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic, so he has his work cut out for him.

Tough road ahead for the Fed Express

Speaking of tough draws, Federer is no different.

While some might see the fact that the Fed Express is the defending champion and stands to gain no point for the world rankings, he could really use a title right now.

He hasn’t won a championship in his last four ATP-sanctioned competitions, with his last title coming in the Stuttgart Open four months ago. Federer remains the second-best player in the world (for now?), but he has dropped to fourth in the ATP Race to London.

Victory in Shanghai would allow him to climb in the race rankings, but as mentioned, it won’t be a walk in the park. The 37-year-old Swiss supernova could face the likes of Sam Querrey, Kei Nishikori, Juan Martin del Potro and Dominic Thiem depending on how the games play out.

It remains to be seen if Federer can break his slump, but it’s not wrong to expect the 2018 Australian Open champ to up his game considering that it will likely be the final Masters 1000 tournament he’ll play before the London competition.

Race to London set to heat up in Shanghai

The Shanghai Rolex Masters 2018 news and headlines won’t just be about Djokovic and Federer though. While they are the favourites, other top players such as Zverev, Cilic, Anderson, Thiem and Nishikori will be as determined to win.

Four spots in the battle for London are already taken, but four are still up for grabs. Zverev is almost through, and a deep run here will help him secure his place.

Cilic, at sixth, is close to Zverev, but his poor form is a cause for concern. However, if he makes it to the semis at least, it will bolster his chances of avoiding the drop.

Anderson and Thiem are occupying the last two qualifying places; nonetheless, they are in danger of missing out with Nishikori finding his rhythm and heating up at the right time.


Djokovic is the winningest player in the tournament, tied with British star Andy Murray with three Shanghai titles. Federer, however, isn’t too far behind with two championships, which he won in  2014 and 2017.

Interestingly, only four players have won in Shanghai since its inaugural season in 2009. Russian sensation Nikolay Davydenko won in the Chinese city in its first year, with Murray, Djokovic and Federer sharing the honours in the next eight editions.

It should be noted though that the tour has been pretty unpredictable this year. Out of the seven Masters 1000 events this 2018, only Nadal has won multiple times. Rafa won three, with the other four tour contests seeing different winners.

What are the odds?

As expected, the Shanghai Rolex Masters 2018 odds favour Djokovic to win it all at outright odds of 2.50. Federer, on the other hand, is a little bit adrift at 4.00.

SBOBET, meanwhile, gives Del Potro and Zverev outside chance to challenge for the silverware at 9.00 and 11.00 respectively.

Nishikori (13.00), Cilic (15.00) and Thiem (17.00) won’t fancy their chances though. The same goes for Anderson and Stefanos Tsitsipas who are both at 21.00 to win.

Big names like Querrey (51.00), Roberto Bautista Agut (51.00), Richard Gasquet (101.00) and Pablo Carreno Busta (101.00) are capable of pulling off surprises, though a run to the finals seems out of the question for them considering the top-heavy draw.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.






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Angelo Guinhawa
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