We are winding down to the last few tournaments of the year before we go to the ATP Finals in London which begin in five weeks. Only four guys have locked down a spot so far. Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, and Del Potro. Nadal is so banged up he most likely won’t be playing in London. He has already dropped out of the Shanghai Masters event this week. The way he plays the game by the end of the year, his body just can’t take it anymore. There are lots of points up for grabs as the winner here gets 1000 ATP points and will greatly enhance his chances to make the year-end Finals. There is still the Paris indoors to be played as well, so there are guys outside of the top 10 who have a chance to qualify. That’s what Jack Sock did last year, as he finished on a run, qualified and finished the year at number 8. So, let’s get to it and look at the draw in Shanghai. This event didn’t even exist a few years ago, but the players love it and it’s now one of the most popular events on the tour.
With Nadal out, Roger is the top seed here, even though he hasn’t played that well in the last few months he always starts to play better now this part of the year and needs to be respected both in this tourney and in London. He may bang head with Raonic in the 3rd round here and after that, he certainly needs to respect Nishikori in the quarterfinals. Speaking of Nishi, he is alive and well in Japan this week and always plays well in his home country. When he is healthy he is very dangerous. Roger however mostly likely moves into the Semifinals.
In the that Semifinal, it gets very tricky as Juan Martin Del Porto who is “Kryptonite” to Roger could be waiting. Delpo is also playing well as he is in the Semifinals at the China Open this week. This section is packed with great players, however, as he may need to play Gasquet in the second round, then whoever gets through the first two rounds of Kyrgios, Coric, and Wawrinka. Kyrgios is unseeded and Wawrinka got a wildcard that is why they are in the same section with the 13th seeded Coric. No one is happy about how this draw came out. After that, it doesn’t get much easier as Dominic Thiem who recently won a hard-court event is seeded to play in the quarters here. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Thiem make it to the Semis here. There are too many good players to predict a Semifinalist, so let’s just say that Juan Martin makes it through.
Cilic is in the next section along with Alex Zverev. This is the same thing that happened in NY for these two. It really makes the draw easier for Cilic when Zverev is one of the top 4 seeds as he really doesn’t belong there. There are some very dangerous “Floaters” here as guys like Edmund, Shapovalov (who just lost in the Japan Semis), and De Minaur are also in this section. Still, it looks like Cilic will make it through. So far it looks very much like a repeat of the same players doing well here that did well in the US Open.
In the bottom section “Ole Reliable” Kevin Anderson is the 7th seed here. He may need to play a nemesis of his in Tsitsipas in the 3rd round. Djokovic, however, is the top seed in this section and may need to play a very dangerous Chung in the 3rd round.
It certainly looks to us like it will be some very familiar faces it the Semifinals here. We could have a Semi of Roger and Juan Martin and another of Novak and Cilic. If that is the case, we expect a repeat of the Us Open Final in which Novak and Del Porto hooked up. It’s very hard for us to bet against Juan Martin however as we just love his all-around game, and Djokovic as of late has been saving his energy for the Grand Slams Look for Delpo to use the momentum that he is gathering is China and win this Masters event and then take few weeks off to get ready for Paris in a few weeks.