Shanghai Rolex Masters 2017: Draw Preview and Analysis

published: Oct, 09, 2017

by: Charles Blouin-Gascon

Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews the 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The Asian swing continues this week, with the ATP World Tour making their way to Shanghai for the 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

We’ve been harping, in this space, that the tennis season tends to build to a crescendo right until the US Open, after which it kind of cools off a little bit, but that’s not the case at all and it’s really just us being nearsighted. The fact is tennis never really stops: since the start of this Asian swing on September 25, this is the fourth tournament we’ve had in China to go along with one more in Japan. You and I, we sleep, but tennis doesn’t.

Truth be told, the Shanghai Rolex Masters is always a pretty big deal on the ATP calendar. As such, this big deal event demands that we give it the draw preview and analysis. Here it goes.

Main draw

Welcome to, despite all the injuries and withdrawals from the summer, what is really a pretty stacked field this week in Shanghai. The usual pair looms large at the top and bottom of this draw of course, so everything probably starts and ends with them.

Top seed Rafael Nadal had a pretty workmanlike win in Beijing, triumphing over a red hot Nick Kyrgios in the final of the China Open (a final we had correctly predicted, except for the outcome). In Shanghai, depending on how the rest of the matches unfold, the road to the semifinal could get fairly tricky for the Spaniard, but again let’s not lose sleep over it. When he’s playing as well as he’s been throughout this season, Nadal tends to make things very simple. Sam Querrey should be no match for Nadal.

Marin Cilic is supposedly the favourite in the second section of the main draw, but we’ll do without him. The Croat will probably battle with Nick Kyrgios for a spot in the quarterfinals and we’ll go bold: we feel like when the Australian is motivated and in form, he’s just about unstoppable, so we’ll slot him right in the final. It’s quite the ask, to do the Beijing+Shanghai double in back-to-back weeks, but let’s ride the hot hand. We’ll likely be utterly wrong, but go big or go home.

The third and fourth sections should be pretty straightforward if we’re being honest, with Roger Federer making quick work of whichever poor soul will emerge from the fray, while Alexander Zverev should do the same with Denis Shapovalov. The Canadian will have deserved his wild card after an upset win over Dominic Thiem, but he’ll be stopped by the youngster Zverev.

Quarterfinals: Rafael Nadal over Sam Querrey; Nick Kyrgios over Kevin Anderson; Alexander Zverev over Denis Shapovalov; Roger Federer over Roberto Bautista Agut

Semifinals: Nick Kyrgios over Rafael Nadal; Roger Federer over Alexander Zverev

Final: Roger Federer over Nick Kyrgios

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG

Charles Blouin-Gascon

I'm the mastermind (I use this word very generously) of the 'Tennis Elbow' column, which looks at the previous week in the world of tennis. I try to bring humor to my coverage, because life's much better when you're smiling. I can also hit a mean backhand down the line.

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