Shanghai Rolex Masters preview

By Niall Clarke

  • Andy Murray is the third seed in Shanghai
  • The Brit is drawn in the same half as Novak Djokovic
  • Roger Federer is the second seed and defending champion

Shanghai, China- Andy Murray is the lone British representative in the Shanghai Rolex Masters that takes place this week.

The penultimate Masters 1000 event on the calendar is one of the last chances to gain some serious points as the 2015 season nears its conclusion.

Fresh off his Beijing success, Novak Djokovic is the top seed and title favourite, with defending champion Roger Federer headlining the other half of the draw.

Murray, who has reclaimed the number two world ranking spot this week, is the sole British player in the draw and is looking to claim the Shanghai Rolex Masters (Got to say Rolex or their twitter will tell me off) for third time.

Top Quarter

Djokovic headlines the top quarter and will open his tournament against dangerous leftie Martin Klizan who was successful earlier today. David Ferrer continues his push for a place in the World Tour Finals this week, but he will be tested by the familiar face of Bernard Tomic.

Richard Gasquet is the projected third round opponent for the Spaniard, he faces Gilles Muller first. Feliciano Lopez is the other seed in this quarter of the draw. Young Austrian Dominic Thiem could be a player to watch.

Second Quarter

British eyes will be on the second quarter as that is where Murray has situated. The British number one will face American Steve Johnson in the second round. Murray could be on a collision course with big serving 13th seed John Isner in the third round. There is also a possibility he could face Davis Cup Final opponent David Goffin at this stage.

Tomas Berdych could face Murray in the quarter finals, albeit the Czech did not look impressive in Beijing last week. Jack Sock in the second round could spring another early loss on the world number five. Last year’s runner up Gilles Simon has also landed in this section.

Third quarter

Fresh off his fourth title of the year in Tokyo, Stan Wawrinka heads to Shanghai in good form. The two time grand slam champion will have a few days to rest before heading back to business against Pablo Cuevas or Viktor Troicki. Marin Cilic is the projected third round opponent for the fourth seed.

Rafael Nadal was dismantled by Djokovic in Beijing, but played his best tournament in quite a while. The Spaniard will face a tough opener against Ivo Karlovic, who is the all-time leader in aces. Speaking of big serves, Milos Raonic is looking to re-find form this week after struggling with a foot injury in recent months. The Canadian will face Thomaz Bellucci in round one

Bottom Quarter

Federer will be keen to re-claim his number two ranking after losing it to Murray this week, and the perfect way to start will be to defend the title he won here last year. The Swiss will play Albert Ramos in round one. His biggest test before the quarter finals will likely come in the form of Jo Wilfried Tsonga, who despite his early loss in Tokyo has been in decent form in recent months.

Kei Nishikori will be looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats to Benoit Paire, but don’t worry, The Frenchman is not playing this week. Instead Nishikori will meet the notorious Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster round two match-up. New top 10 member Kevin Anderson is also in this section.

 

The world number two heads to Shanghai this week seeking a third crown, but the Scot has his eyes set on Davis Cup glory.

After leading Great Britain through ties against France and Australia, Murray will look to add the Davis Cup to his growing list of accomplishments.

The final in Gent will be played on clay so the Brit has cast doubts over his participation in the World Tour Finals that takes place in London in November.

Murray will face Johnson in his opening match of the Shanghai Rolex Masters (See, I remembered it!)

The American is ranked 47 in the world, and has never met Murray before. He did come from 5-2 down in the third set to defeat Seppi In round one.

Andy Murray will play Steve Johnson in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Play continues tomorrow from 5am BST

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