Federer Confirms He Will Play Shanghai

Hey folks. First of all I apologize for my blog being offline earlier today. I got some emails from people who were concerned. If it ever happens again don’t panic. If I decide to quit blogging I’ll let you know beforehand. Now on to the latest Federer news:

Officially, I’ve decided that I will make the trip next week to Shanghai. I can’t wait to see all my fans and I hope I can win the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the first time!

https://www.facebook.com/Federer

OK so it’s confirmed. Roger will play Shanghai. Thoughts? As is the case with the India situation I’m not quite sure what Roger’s thinking process is going to Shanghai. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for the Chinese fans and tournament. Not having Roger there would have been a big loss. But Roger have played a lot of late for his age. It was already a bit of a surprise that he played in Toronto where he made the final. Then another final at Cincinnati, semis at the US Open, and Davis Cup after that. I would have thought a longer break would have been better and then playing Basel, Paris, the Masters Cup, and Davis Cup. But it looks like Roger will skip Paris now instead and make the long trip to China. Surely he won’t play Paris now as well. That would be begging for burn out. After Shanghai he will have a week before Basel begins. After Basel there is no break before Paris.

And then there is a week break again between Paris and London. And of course the weekend after London is the Davis Cup final. I don’t think Roger is gunning for year end #1. I think he is trying to become #2 so he can have a top 2 seeding in Melbourne. I think that should be the plan anyway. If he wants to try and end the year #1 then he will need to play Paris, and then he is seriously jeopardizing his chances in Melbourne. Winning a slam at this point should enjoy priority over ending the year ranked #1. Sure it would be nice to tie Sampras’ record of six year end number ones, but Roger is not threatened by Sampras. He is threatened by Nadal and therefor #18 is of primary importance right now. The fact that he added the IPTL to his schedule in December on top of the charity match with Stan means he definitely should not play Paris if he does not want to risk burn out.

Not to mention that he has already confirmed that he will be back in Brisbane next year. I just think Roger had a great comeback season after 2013 and I don’t want him to overplay now and suffer the consequences in 2015. I think Nadal will rise again in 2015 which means Roger will probably have a down season again, given how they keep alternating. But at least I want to see Roger get the #2 ranking and give himself the best possible chance to win the Australian Open where he has been very consistent over the years. Roger schedules well and he will know best what is best for him. I just hope he doesn’t overdo it like he did in 2007 and 2012. And just to make it clear, the fact that he lost third round in Shanghai last year doesn’t mean there are points up for grabs. If he plays Shanghai and skips Paris, like he should if he had any sense, then he will lose 360 points for the semi last year in Paris.

The ball is in your court.

Was playing in Shanghai the correct decision?

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Posted in Masters 1000, Shanghai.

38 Comments

  1. Ru-an! I think that Roger made the right decision here. The moment that the French chose Indoor Clay, it made it clear that Roger doesn’t have to play Bercy.

    Plus, between Bercy and Shanghai, I’d rather have him play Shanghai. He has won Paris but he hasn’t won in Shanghai so it would be good for him to play.

    If he does well, then he’ll have a week off, then play Basel and then have 2 weeks off if he so chooses before London and Davis Cup. The break will be a bit more spread out this way and he won’t burn out by the time Davis Cup comes around! :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah the two week break before the WTF and DC would be good and make sense in terms of Roger saying that it is the two most important things to him now. The year end #1 and therefor playing Paris shouldn’t matter at all. If he can win the WTF, DC, and end the year ranked #2 that would be peRFect.

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  2. Roger is the best in terms of managing his schedule and keeping himself healthy. In my humble opinion he should have skipped Toronto or Cincinnati and it is lots of matches before going to the Open. It appeared to me he was a bit flat against Cilic, and let’s not forget he steps up his game against big servers very well. I think the focus should be on grand slams. He has had a tremendous season and the focus should be on Davis Cup and next year Australia. Federer has won WTC 6 times and I don’t think he needs it anymore.

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    elizabeth Reply:

    I may be wrong but I think if Roger had gone any further at the US then his Davis Cup matches would have been in doubt.

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  3. Was surprised to hear of Roger’s decision to play in Shanghai, Ru-an. Think that his decision might also be
    part of being a bit obligated to please his sponsor, Rolex, etc?? All we can do, wish him good health and good luck. Good blog, Ru-an, keep it coming!
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    That could be part of the reason Dolores. We will never know. I think it has more to do with him wanting a two week break before the WTF and DC.

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  4. The only reason I can think of why Fed is playing Shanghai is because he wants to skip Bercy since Basel-Bercy-WTF-DC will be too much. He doesn’t want to skip Basel for sentimental reasons(though I’ve always felt he should’ve sacrificed Basel for Bercy more than the other way around) and wants to play WTF and DC. So this is a big gamble that could be a masterstroke if he goes deep in Shanghai or a disaster.

    The trip to India might be a vacation since he’s said that he’s wanted to see India. I think the tennis could just be some casual fun.

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  5. I actually feel like Federer wasn’t quite as sharp at the U.S. open as people were saying he was, considering that he dropped the first set against Granollers and the first two sets against Monfils. But I think that he seems to play better overall when he plays enough tournaments to be “match-tough” and to have confidence for the crucial points. I’m guessing he’s going to pull out of Paris-Bercy and that it makes sense to play in China (Shanghai) and India (IPTL exhibition) because those are growing markets where he hasn’t won or played as much.

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  6. ruan–i think the key here is these are 3 set matches. fed in his later years –seems to be doing better with the 3 set format, even if matches are less spaced out. and he seems to get pumped up by all the support he’s receiving and the chinese will certainly deliver. i have to say as an indian, i am super excited for fed’s visit to india. i don’t think it will be taxing. it’s an 8 hour flight to delhi, and he’s playing matches that are more exo than anything else. the 5 setter against monfils killed him!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah I think the India thing is more for holiday than anything else Sakhi. I am now OK with it. And yes that 5-setter vs Monfils did kill him. I’m starting to think playing Toronto was a mistake, because Roger did not have a great USO if we think about it. Against Monfils he came out not looking determined enough, and it ended up killing him.

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  7. Hi all! It’s a tricky balance between getting enough matches and playing too few. With the new racket, he plays shorter points and stays closer to the baseline, so it doesn’t sap as much energy. He may feel that he’s in good enough shape to play a long stretch of hard court tournaments.

    Also, he’s no longer ATP Player Council president which has lightened his commitments considerably. He probably has more energy now that he’s no longer responsible for representing the interests of all the players on the tour.

    I agree with Vily that Shanghai is more important at this point than Paris, since he’s won Paris but not Shanghai. It would be good to break new ground this year and win a tournament he hasn’t won before, just to get that confidence for next year.

    To expand on Albert’s comment, both China and India each have over a billion people and there’s a growing middle class there that can afford to spend money on tennis and consumer goods related to tennis (shirts, hats, shoes etc.) It’s a smart move to build a fan base there. Europe already has a well-established tennis tradition, he already has an enormous fan base there, it’s not a growing market the way Asia is.

    It’s better for Federer, and tennis in general, if he invests more effort in raising interest in tennis in Asia. If tennis is to continue to grow, they need to reach a new audience and generate fresh interest. Two billion people is a huge pool of untapped talent and many of the great players of the future are likely to hail from Asia as more and more people there take up tennis. Nishikori made history by becoming the first Asian man to make a Grand Slam final and it’s only a matter of time before an Asian man makes the breakthrough and wins a major title.

    As usual, Federer is making his moves with an eye on the future.

    Exhos aren’t terribly strenuous, it’s just a hit and giggle. The India exho will be more tiring, but even so it’s just a couple of matches. The one with Wawrinka is for charity, the goal will be to hit trick shots that make the audience ooh and aah, not to make it super-competitive. Plus it’s in Zurich, he won’t have to travel very far since I’m sure he’ll be relaxing in Switzerland for the Christmas holidays. He’s played a lot this year and he’s in good shape so he may not have to put in a lengthy training block in Dubai as he did last year.

    I think that so far he’s made good decisions. He knows his body and he won’t try to play through injury. So things are looking good for a strong finish to the year and a good 2015. As I said, I don’t think he’s peaked yet with the new racket so I think he can improve still.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment as usual Steve. Totally agree that Asia is the future as far as many things go and that India and China are becoming economic powerhouses. That fact that Roger is playing so much doesn’t really surprise me either given how little he played in 2013. This is something people forget. He is making up for lost time. He is also still getting used to the new racquet like you said and I think he wants to play a lot so he can be ready for the AO next year.

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  8. Off topic here. Nadal tearing through draw…again…6-4, 6-0 folks! Anyone surprised?!! Injured or just d—– and training??! Never has there been a player who doesn’t need any break in time after long injury timeout….just look at poor Murray, struggling for a year and only just lucked out a measely 250! Maybe Roger should do a Nadal; just sayin’. Baby Fed is now 23 years old, shares the same Manager as Papa Fed, uses his papa’s ex-physio, sponsored by Papa Fed’s sponsors, Nike, Wilson, Mercedez, Rolex. The Roger Federer Clones are a’comin’, folks!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Veronica. Lets get ready for another 3 slam year from Nadal next year where he equals Roger’s record. And yeah I wish Dimitrov would get his own identity. Maybe then we can finally have a youngster who beats Nadal on a regular basis.

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    veronica Reply:

    Lol Ru-an! I’m BRACING myself for your Nadal prophesy to be fulfilled!! lol!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well lets face it he’s either gonna equal Fed or surpass him so he will win a minimum of two slams next year.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, Ru-an, that’s why I’m bracing myself! I don’t doubt your prophecy at all; much as I hope it will not happen! If the normal cycle is continuing next year, it would be Roger down, Nadal up. But I really hope for a break to the cycle and miraculously Roger maintains upward trend. With playing so much, a positive can also happen where he plays himself into form and the fh finally peaks, do you think so, Ru-an?!! I’m just dreading the imminent Nadal rampage. I should be used to it by now but I’m not! It’s amazing how he can grind opponents into mental and physical midgets and they turn into pulp losing all belief and give up!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well that’s because he is mentally incredibly strong Veronica. Anyway I think Roger can have a good AO next year. After that we may see him dip and Nadal rise again.

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  9. Btw agree Shanghai is good if his target is WTF and DC. The rest periods are more spaced out. It does look like he should be skipping Bercy; although I would like him to skip Basel instead (but I think he won’t). The India thing I have come to terms with already. The future is Asia and Roger has always been a visionary, long-sighted kinda person. But like Ru-an and a few others, I don’t like it that he is replacing Nadal. Why does he always cleans up after Nadal?!! Ugh! Why can’t the Spaniard clean up his own shit?! Haha! It just annoys the hell out of me as I imagine Roger putting in so much effort (yes, 2 sets only but never underestimate the toil of travel, media, hysterical fans (Jiten should be among them, haha!), whether his family will be with him or not, difficult humid climate, food, (8 out of 10 friends who been to India experienced food poisoning; maybe spiciness, maybe hygiene, don’t know, etc etc, not as simple and straightforward as “just 2 sets”)and Nadal is happily training away, super ready for AO2015!!! I’m letting this one go but IF Roger should show signs of fatigue in AO, then it would be hard not to point fingers. I really can’t see how well he would be able to prepare for AO with so much on his plate. Anyway, hope for the best and can’t wait to see him in action next week!

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    Jiten Reply:

    I would have Sis, had it been some real tennis. I myself is not very happy that instead of resting himself, he is coming over to my country, that too as a replacement. Come on Roger, do you really need this? I am enjoying the by-product though! The Indian fans photo-shopping Fed and coming up with some unthinkable ideas.

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    veronica Reply:

    Yes, Bro, the best thing that got out of this trip are the photoshops. They were so hilarious and I enjoyed them so much!! I suspect Roger’s fan base in India is HUGE. It seems that every Indian (and Chinese)I know loves Roger!!

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  10. Mentally strong….sure, he is that. But there’s a reason for it. Lance Armstrong was also “mentally strong.” Knowing you have an advantage over your competitors does give you faith. He knows he’ll outlast them, that’s why he hangs in there even down two sets. The one place where none of that seems to matter anymore is Wimbledon. At least the first week. Nowhere is his weakness as a player more revealed than there, at least since 2011.

    Uncle Toni is very shrewd. Just have him play half a season and extend his career that way, cycle up for the AO, clay season and use that momentum and aura of invincibility to roll on into the USO.

    Still he won one match match. Let’s not jump to conclusions. Dopers age too. Plus Cilic and a lot of others are taking the same medicine. We shall see. A lot can happen, I am not certain he will reach 17.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well yeah dope could do that for you Jim. I don’t trust him and that’s why I don’t care if he equals or breaks Roger’s slam record.

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  11. Want to add more in the list of complaints? Firstly, it was the knee, then the schedule followed by less number of tournaments played on clay, why not two year ranking system, wrist is OK but not 100% and now the Tennis Balls used for the China open. Man, it simply sucks! I am sure it is not improbable, one day, the drama queens (yes I am including Aunt Toni as well) will demand “why not make doping legitimate?”

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Already responded to you on FB Jiten but I’m sure they would be in favor of legal doping. The Spanish are masters at it after all. And of course you forgot to add that Nadal whined about the WTF not being played on clay.

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  12. So Klizan showed the doors to Nadal. The balls were bouncing weird. No! Next time it will be the net. And then….

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    Ru-an Reply:

    If Roger does better than Nadal in Shanghai he will be #2!

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    rahan Reply:

    Klizan’s win over Nadal is the Spaniard’s first loss to a qualifier in 10 years.

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    rahan Reply:

    … and he also lost 16 of the last 18 points in a deciding set…

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  13. But I hope that we will not see a repeat of 2013 Rafa’s comeback (if I remember well, he also lost to a
    lefty journeyman in his first tournament back)

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  14. It seems that Novak is in great form: a bagel in the first set of the final vs. Berych.

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    rahan Reply:

    …and the final score: 6-0,6-2 (57 points vs 30 points)

    I think that Bredych tries to win only against Roger.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    It was a shame about the missed chance for a double bagel Rahan. Djokovic either choked badly at 5-0 serving for the match or felt sorry for Berdych. Personally I don’t buy he felt sorry for Berdych. These pros don’t know the meaning of the word mercy. Unless they are French of course.

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    rahan Reply:

    You are right: I also hoped for a double bagel, but I jinxed it :-(

    Nevertheless, Berdych missed a golden opportunity for becoming the first to lose 6-0 6-0 in an ATP men final

    P.S.
    I didn’t understand your last remark :
    ..Unless they are French of course…

    Am I missing something ?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The French don’t have killer instinct. With the exception of Tsonga maybe.

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