Federer gets tough draw at Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer has been handed a tough draw at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, which kicked off yesterday at Qizhong Tennis Center in Minhang District.

The 17-time grand slam winner is in the same quarter of the draw as top seed Novak Djokovic, whom he will have to overcome to reach the semifinal.

Second seed Rafael Nadal has a comparatively easier draw, while Chinese players face tough opening challenges.

Seeded fifth in one of his favorite tournament, Federer, like other top seeds, has a first-round bye, and is expected to meet wildcard Lleyton Hewitt in the second round if the Australian manages to overcome Italian Andreas Seppi.

“It is always a tough draw here because it is always such a strong tournament being an ATP Masters 1000,” said Federer. “It’s a difficult first match for me. It would be great to play Lleyton, we go back a long way and I remember playing him in Shanghai when the first Masters Cup was here, he beat me in the semifinals and went on to win the tournament. We have had some amazing matches. Even if I play Seppi, that will also be tough because he is a very good player.

“I have been coming to Shanghai almost every year since 2002 and this is one of my favourite tournaments of the year and we look forward to a good week.”

The survivor of the likely Federer-Djokovic clash will compete for a final spot against third seed David Ferrer of Spain or seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in the semifinal. Other seeds in this half include Richard Gasquet, Kei Nishikori, Gilles Simon and Tommy Robredo.

China’s top-ranked male player Zhang Ze will face Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the first round. Zhang, though, seems to be more focused on the doubles where he will partner Federer.

“I might get nervous at first, but things will get better after practice. He is the king on court and I have everything to learn from him during the match, his manners and playing style.”

Federer has never played doubles in any ATP 1000 event, let alone with a Chinese player. He got a better knowledge of his new partner as the two held a “mini tie-breaker” friendly match for fans. Zhang lost by one point. “He was being nice to me and held back, as it’s after all my home court,” Zhang said.

Six Chinese players competed in yesterday’s qualifying round, with only Lu Yen-hsun of Chinese Taipei winning. The first round of matches start today.

Date: 5th October 2013, Source: Shanghai Daily


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