Just one tournament this week and a chance for us to catch our breath before a flurry of European tournaments.
The penultimate Masters Series event brings us back to China for one of the best events of the year. Valuable points are available not only for the race to the year end number 1 but to qualify for London. Tipsarevic needs a big tournament to stand a chance of qualifying.
Everyone’s here for this, save for the injured Nadal, so hang onto your hats.
Let’s break it down:
ATP Level: 1000
Surface: Outdoor Hard
Defending Champion: Andy ‘White Fang’ Murray – Looks for a third straight title in Shanghai. Lost a tight match to Raonic in Tokyo, so will want to make amends and make a push for works number 1.
Nasty Floater: Martin Klizan – Negotiates Bellucci and takes on the fragile Cilic.
Veteran Watch: Lleyton ‘Rusty’ Hewitt – Gets a wildcard and plays fellow vet Stepanek in an interesting match up.
Up and Coming: Ze Zhang – Knocked off Gasquet in Beijing, which is no mean feat. Chinese tennis looking better.
Slumping: Marin Cilic – A bad week last week and while he won his first round, he’ll need to be on his game against Klizan.
On Fire: Kei Nishikori – Won his native Tokyo event last week and is firmly in the top 20 now, looking for more.
My pick: Andy Murray – While Federer could be rusty, Djokovic could be tired, Murray looks the best bet.
Did You Know? In its first three years in 2009-2011, Shanghai was awarded ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year
Watch: Shanghai Uncovered
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks and amusement!