Roger Federer playing in a winning match against John Isner (6-3, 6-4) in the 2010 Shanghai Masters.
Break out the sunscreen and parasols, because tennis season is imminent! The Shanghai Masters and Beijing’s China Open kick off next month, giving local tennis fans their annual chance to see players like Nadal, Federer, Sharapova and the Williams sisters swing grunty backhand volleys in the flesh. The China Open will take place from September 30th to October 9th at the China National Tennis Center, while the Shanghai Masters will run from October 8th to the 16th at the Shanghai Qizhong Tennis Center. Schwing!
Though the China Open will feature both male and female players from the ATP and WTA tours, the breakdown between the Beijing tournament and the Shanghai Masters is quite prominent: while the China Open will feature every single big name in women’s tennis, including Olympic non-champion Li Na, Peng Shuai, Caroline Wozniacki, and the lovely Ana Ivanovic (click here for full list), the only household name in the men’s tournament is Mr. Brooklyn Decker himself, Andy Roddick.
Meanwhile, the Shanghai Masters will be a men’s only tournament, and the 1000 ATP Championship points on offer will mean the best in the men’s game will turn out to sweat through a few rounds to chase a $5.65 million USD prize, an amount topped only by the four Grand Slams and the ATP World Tour Finals.
Ticket and venue information after the jump…
However, the current world no.1 and recent U.S. Open winner Novak Djokovic, who was scheduled to play in both Shanghai and Beijing, will likely miss out on next month’s China tournaments. The current alpha-dog of tennis suffered a back injury while playing in a Davis Cup match against Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday, and will be out of action for three to six weeks. Fans will probably see Djokovic out of action until November’s ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The good news is that this sets up the chance for a potential final between R-Fed and Rafa in Shanghai, without any chance of the Pride of Serbia getting in the way. Federer has already lost to Nadal four times this year, with the final at this year’s French Open (where Rafa won in four sets) being their most recent meeting. We hate to say it, especially since Federer seems like a pretty emotional guy, but it’s quite the drop-off from when he was getting hagiographic treatment from the likes of David Foster Wallace.
Shanghai’s tournament also gets the added bonus of backstage intrigue this year, as England’s Great White Hope Andy Murray has revealed that a meeting regarding a potential player strike will be held during the Masters next month. The main bone that Murray and other players have to pick with the International Tennis Federation has to do with scheduling, and the fact that the current ATP calendar setup is exhausting:
“We’re competing in the biggest events against the best players, it’s pretty gruelling. There is extra stress on the body … we work hard and don’t get much of a break. We need to have some say in things that go on in our sport, which right now we don’t [have] at all really.”
That sounds totally awful and tragic, Andy. Excuse us while we dab our tears a little bit.
Tickets for the Shanghai Masters can be bought online, or in a variety of ticket offices around Shanghai, including:
Super Brand Mall Ticketing Office // Sport City on the 7th floor of Super Brand Mall (正大广场) // No.168 West Lujiiazui Road, Pudong New District // Tel: 021-50472203 // Business Hours: 10:00-22:00 throughout the week.
Grand Gateway Ticketing Office // B1 of Grand Gateway (港汇广场) // No.1 Hongqiao Road // Xuhui District // Tel:021-64073007 // Business Hours:10:00-22:00 throughout the week.
Jiushi Ticketing Office // 16th floor of Jiushi Mansion (久事大厦) // No.28 South Zhongshan Road // Huangpu District // Tel: 021-63336201 // Business Hours: 9:00-17:00 throughout the week.
For our Beijing readers, tickets for the China Open can be bought here.
Shanghai Rolex Masters // Tickets range from 60RMB-460RMB for opening rounds // October 8th-16th // Shanghai Qizhong Tennis Center // 5500 Yuanjiang Road, near Kunyang Road, Minhang district (元江路5500号, 近昆阳路, 闵行区) // Closest Metro stop: Beiqiao Station (北桥站) Line 5