Sunday, 6 October 2013

ATP Shanghai: Preview and Predictions

Andy Murray is the only top 10 player missing and Novak Djokovic's straight set wins over Rafael Nadal in Beijing has injected added interest into 2013's penultimate Masters 100 event.

Projected First Quarter - N.Djokovic (1) v R.Federer (5)
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic arrives in Shanghai with a huge confidence boost having beating Rafael Nadal in the final of Beijing today.  This is the first title Djokovic has won since Monte-Carlo in April and it is his first top 5 win since that final too.  After a first round bye, Djokovic opens up against Janko Tipsarevic or Marcel GranollersTommy Robredo could await in the third round although Fabio Fognini, as unpredictable and frustrating as he may be, should come through to meet Robredo in round two, who he did beat in Beijing last week.

The biggest talking point from the first quarter is that Djokovic could meet Roger Federer in the quarters, which would be a first encounter in 2013 if they both make it.  The Fed hasn't played since losing to Robredo in the 4th round of the US Open and his first match of the week will be against either Lleyton Hewitt or Andreas SeppiRichard Gasquet, who plays Vasek Pospisil in the first round, is also lurking in this section and will be a solid test for Federer if they meet in the third round.

1st Round Predictions: Granollers to beat Tipsarevic in 3 sets, Fognini to beat Lorenzi in 3 sets, Robredo to beat Montanes in 2 sets, Gasquet to beat Pospisil in 2 tight sets and Hewitt to beat Seppi in 2 tight sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction: Djokovic v Federer

Projected Second Quarter - D.Ferrer (3) v J.W.Tsonga (7)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
It is safe to say David Ferrer's form has significantly dipped since a Roland Garros-Wimbledon marathon of matches.  After a disapppointing loss to Gasquet in Beijing last week, he will look to build wins and confidence ahead of the World Tour Finals (WTF) at the O2 where he is confirmed to play.  His first match will be against Lukas Rosol and his second one could be against a Frenchman as Gilles Simon, the seed in this section, plays Benoit Paire in the first round.  I fancy Florian Mayer to do well in this section and I think he will take out the winning Frenchman.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has made a solid enough comeback from injury with a final appearance in Metz.  I think this week will be his to shine and make a final move for the O2.  He takes on Pablo Andujar in the second round and is projected to meet Kei Nishikori in the third round.  Once again, I like Ivan Dodig's chances this week although at this bigger tournament and with Tsonga bound to improve week-on-week, I would fancy Tsonga over Dodig if they met in the third round.  Dodig plays Jurgen Melzer in the first round, meanwhile Nishikori takes on Grigor Dimitrov, who has been thoroughly disappointing since sending shockwaves through the tour with that win over Djokovic in Madrid all the way back in May.

1st Round Predictions: Simon to beat Paire in 2 tight sets, Nishikori to beat Dimitrov in 2 sets and Dodig to beat Melzer in 3 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction: Mayer v Tsonga

Projected Third Quarter - J.M.del Potro (6) v T.Berdych (4)
Juan Martin del Potro
The third quarter of the draw features Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych, who like Djokovic and Federer in the first quarter, have not yet met in 2013.  Del Potro is coming off a title run in Tokyo where he beat some quality players including an in-form Milos Raonic in a straight sets finale.  He is likely to meet Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round, which looks testing on paper, but he does have a 5-0 head-to-head lead.  Tommy Haas is a potential third round opponent although that is another great match-up for DelPo; in addition Haas has struggled after a taxing year and plays Sam Querrey in round one, who came out of the shadows last week in Beijing to record wins over Mikhail Youzhny and Stan Wawrinka.

Berdych was forced to pull out of his Beijing semi-final to Rafael Nadal so I don't see him going really deep in this draw.  However it isn't a particularly difficult one so I would expect him to overcome his first opponent, Feliciano Lopez or Jarrko Nieminen and then have too much for Nicolas Almagro in the third round.  The Spaniard did manage his best week last week since making the 4th round of Roland Garros as he hung on to claim a big three set win over Nishikori in Japan.

1st Round Predictions: Falla to beat Brands in 2 sets, Haas to beat Querrey in 3 sets, Chardy to beat Tomic in 3 sets and Nieminen to beat Lopez in 2 tight sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction: Del Potro v Berdych

Projected Fourth Quarter - S.Wawrinka (8) v R.Nadal (2)
Milos Raonic
Beijing was the first blip in sometime for Rafael Nadal as he lost his sparkling 2013 hard court record.  Rafa has had an immense year, but he has played an incredible amount of tennis, particularly on hard courts, for someone who has dodgy knees.  First up is Alexandr Dolgopolov or Michael Russell before a possible third rounder with John Isner

Stanislas Wawrinka is still in a prime position for the O2, but he needs to consolidate and post some good results this week.  It is possible he could meet Milos Raonic in the third round, which will be a huge, huge match if it takes place.  Raonic has brought himself into contention of making the final eight with a title in Bangkok and a run to the final in Tokyo.  He has surely confirmed his place as a reserve at least, but with neither Wawrinka or Raonic ever performing at the year-ending-champs before, both will be hungry and eager to make it.

1st Round Predictions: Anderson to beat Hanescu in 3 sets, Raonic to beat Przysiezny in 2 tight sets, Isner to beat Giraldo in 2 tight sets and Dolgopolov to beat Russell in 3 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction: Raonic v Nadal

Moo's Final Prediction: Djokovic d. del Potro
I think Djokovic is going to do the Beijing-Shanghai double and I see Nadal struggling a bit this week, purely because he has played so much tennis this year and still has a number of tournaments to compete in.  I like Del Potro's draw and his chances this week.  The Argentine did play last week, but he had taken a good few weeks off after an early US Open exit and if his wrist remains intact, then I think the matches under his belt in Tokyo, will go in his favour.


  1. I hope that Djokovic wins the tournament and returns to the top spot in the rankings.

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    1. If Djokovic found the next big secret in dieting he'd definitely return to the no1 sopt and 2014 would be antoher 2011. But maybe he won't need dieting this time:-)