Shanghai Rolex Masters 2017 – Everything you need to know
Tennis world turns attention to Shanghai, as the 9th edition of Shanghai Rolex Masters is about to kick off this weekend. Although, quite a few important names are missing this year, it’s still going to be an 8-day 99-match spectacle that represents the culmination of the Asian Swing.
The only tournament played in Asia and eight out of nine ATP Would Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, Shanghai Masters is the proud five-time winner of the ATP Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year Award (’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13).
Shanghai Rolex Masters Draw
There will be 55 singles matches, 23 doubles and 21 qualifying. The singles is a 56 draw and the doubles 24. The top eight seeds get first round byes and the elimination is from the first round.
Singles matches are played best of three tie-break sets, and an advantage of two games needs to exist in order to win the set. In case the score is 6-6, the 12-point tie-break is played (the player needs to win by two clear points).
As for doubles, if a match is locked at one set, match tie-break to 10 points is played, and an advantage of two clear points needs to exist.
The total Shanghai Rolex Masters prize money is $7,655,640. The winner will take home $1,192,780 and the finalist $584,845.
Tennis trophies are designed and created by Royal Selangor Pewter. They represent the roof over Qi Zhong Stadium, known as the Magnolia Roof.
All matches are played outdoors at the Qi Zhong Arena, on hard surface called Deco-Turf. The main stadium has 15,000 seats and features a retractable roof of eight steel panels that represent white magnolia – Shanghai’s city flower.
Fan-favorite Roger Federer skipped the event last year due to injury, but announced his participation in a fun promo-video in Mandarin, so the fans are expecting to at least see him battle in the final if not winning. Other top favorite is the 2017 US Open and Roland Garros champion and world no. 1, Rafael Nadal, who appeared in the final only once in 2009, but is expected to go all the way considering his game-level.
Sascha Zverev, the leader of #NextGen stars and the youngest player to break into ATP top 20 since Djokovic in 2006, is definitely a dangerous opponent, and it will be interesting to see him blast through the rounds. Other big names include the world no. 7, Dominic Thiem, and no.8 Grigor Dimitrov, as well as heavy-hitters Marin Cilic (also Wimbledon finalist) and Milos Raonic, who just won his first match in Tokyo after he got back from injury.
Kyrgios made last year’s edition famous for getting himself fined $17,000 and receiving a three-month ban after throwing his match against Mischa Zverev. Lately, he’s been working very hard to show everyone that he’s “not that guy” anymore and that he’s serious about the game and his performance, so he’s definitely a participant to keep an eye on.
The first wildcards are awarded to the US Open junior’s boys champion, China’s 17-yearo-old Wu Yibing, and Canadian 18-year-old wunderkind Denis Shapovalov. Tournamen Director, Michael Luevano, said that these two young man have produced outstanding tennis this year, and therefore it will be exciting to watch them “taking their early steps on the world tour.”
Shanghai Masters Champions
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray took the most titles at this event – three each. Djokovic took the title in 2012, 2013 and 2015 when he defeated Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the finals respectively.
Andy Murray lifted the Shanghai trophy in 2010, 2011 and last year. The finalist were Roger Federer, David Ferrer and Roberto Bautista Agut respectively.
The only other champions besides these former number ones were Nikolay Davydenko in 2009 (defeated Rafael Nadal) and Roger Federer in 2014 (defeated Gilles Simon).
At 33, Roger Federer became the oldest Shanghai Masters champion three years ago, and this year, since he’s in a terrific form, he has the chance to brake his own record and take the title at 36. Talking about raising the bar!
The youngest champion was Murray who took his first Shanghai title aged 23. #NextGen superstar and world no. 4, Alexander Zverev, has a chance to break his record this year, which would be a thing to witness.
Match Duration Records
The longest match at the tournament was 2012 final, when Djokovic defeated the two-time defending champion Murray 5-7, 7-6(13-11), 6-3 after saving five match points. The tie-breaker itself lasted 20 minutes!
The shortest match featured again Murray, and it was in 2010 when he sent Fedex on an express train home (6-3, 6-2).