Monday, February 15, 2021

Federer is top seed as Asian tennis circuit moves to Shanghai


tiamin rice

The Asian tennis circuit moves to Shanghai, China, where the men have gathered for the Rolex Masters with winners due 1000 points. It is in this category that players garner huge points for rankings, for which the Grand Slams offer the golden 2000 points.

For years, the players that have dominated the Masters have topped the rankings. They are Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray.For the few, who competed in Tokyo and Beijing, the short distance to Shanghai is a positive matter but the factor of fatigue may take its toll.

There are 56 direct entries and eight qualifiers in the 64-player draw of seeding based on the current rankings. Nadal is absent, so Federer is the top seed, followed by Novak Djokovic, Del Potro, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Kevin Anderson and Kei Nishikori. Stan Warwinka received a wild card, while the host nation had three direct entries, given to Yibing Wu, Zhe Li and Ze Zhang. The ill-luck of the draw had Wu defeating Li in the first round, 7/6; 6/2 and 13th seeded Borna Coric outlasting Warwinka 4/6; 6/4; 6/3.

On the opening day, fresh from his exploits in Beijing, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated veteran Gael Monfils 7/6 (4); 4/6; 6/4, while Milos Raonic was sent packing by 23-year-old American, Mackenzie McDonald and his compatriot Bradley Klahn survived Kyrgios’ service power to win 4/6; 6/4; 6/3. The two Americans entered the draw from qualifying rounds.

The first seeded player to lose was ninth seeded Argentinean Diego Schwartzman who was beaten by American Sam Querrey 6/4; 6/3. The 12th seeded Jack Sock was defeated by P. Gojowczyk 64; 67; 6/2. Other first round winners were Andreas Seppi over Mannarino, 64; 64; Marcos Cecchinatto over Gills Simon, 67; 4; 7/6, Taylor Fritz over Robin Haase, 6/3; 7/6 and Ebden over Frances Tiafoe 3; 64; 6/3, Roberto Bautista-Agut over Audrey Rublev 6/3; 6/4 and Marton Fucsovics over D Dzumhur 63; 64.

Nadal and Federer will still retain their positions even if the latter wins the Shanghai Rolex Masters. However, if Novak Djokovic wins the tournament and Federer does not reach the finals, the Serb would topple the Swiss. In the event that he wins the title, Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro would overtake Federer and Djokovic if the two do not reach the semi-finals.

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