History repeated itself again yesterday as top-seeded (and not top-ranked-anymore) Roger Federer lost his first round match at this year’s Shanghai Masters Cup, currently going on at the Qizhong Stadium. This year-ending tennis event represents the gathering of the eight “best” players on the ATP Tour of the year for a fierce round-robin competition to earn not only the honor of winning the Masters Cup, but also a nice purse of $625,000.
More ball-blazing action below!
Last year, Federer lost his opening match to Fernando Gonzalez of Chile. He later recovered to win the championship by winning every match after that. Federer hopes to have some of that same magic because, this year, the Frenchman Gilles Simon defeated the former no.1 in the world 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. As a late substitution for the injured and fatigued Rafael Nadal, Simon hopes to continue his stellar play in his next two matches to advance to the next round, but with a field of the top eight players in the world, no match is easy.
This year the contenders are split into two groups: Red and Gold. The Red group consists of Federer, Simon, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray. The Gold group includes Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro. The top two players from each group will advance to the semi-final round, which will take place on Saturday. The singles and doubles finals are this Sunday.
Since 2005, Shanghai has played host to the year-ending event of the ATP Tour. Unfortunately, this is the last year that the tournament will be held in Shanghai before moving to London in 2009. If seeing the tennis action live isn’t your thing (shame on you!), don’t worry; the Shanghai Sports TV channel will broadcast all of the action. The TV schedule is here (in Chinese). By the way, there’s double play too!
Tennis Masters Cup, Shanghai 2008
Qizhong Stadium, Minhang district
Ticket info in English and Chinese
Photo of Gilles Simon from Masters Cup official website