Former Shanghai Rolex Masters champions Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray lead the field at the penultimate Masters Series event of the season from 11-18 October, live from Shanghai.
Shanghai Rolex Masters tennis is live from Shanghai from 11-18 October. Watch & bet on tennis live from Shanghai at 365
Only three active players – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray – have ever captured the title at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Not coincidentally, those three players also currently occupy the top three ranking positions in men’s tennis and have also won all of 2015’s Masters 1000 Series events between them – and this titanic trio will lead the field at the 2015 Shanghai Rolex Masters.
The penultimate Masters Series event of the season, the Shanghai Rolex Masters also brings the ATP World Tour’s autumn Asian swing to a close after stops in 250 events in Shenzhen and Kuala Lumpur, and 500-level events in Beijing and Japan held the week before the Shanghai Masters.
Novak Djokovic aims to reclaim his Shanghai Masters title in 2015 (Zhong Zhi/AFP/Getty Images)
The roots of the Shanghai Rolex Masters date back to 1996, when the first ATP event was held in the largest city in China. In 2002, the ATP World Tour’s season-ending championships were held in Shanghai for the first time at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, and the popularity of champion Lleyton Hewitt led the ATP World Tour to bring the season finale – then known as the Tennis Masters Cup – back to Shanghai for a four-year sojourn between 2005 and 2008 at a purpose-built facility, the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena. Roger Federer featured in three of the four Tennis Masters Cup finals in Shanghai, finishing runner-up to David Nalbandian in 2005 and capturing the title in 2006-7 before Novak Djokovic won his first title in 2008, the final year of the event being held in Shanghai.
As the season-ending championships, now known as the ATP World Tour Finals, moved to London in 2009, the Shanghai event took on a new guise as the second-to-last of nine Masters Series events held in the season. Rebranded as the Shanghai Rolex Masters and offering 1,000 ranking points to the winner, the event is now one of the highlights of the climactic stages of the ATP World Tour season and a key battleground when it comes to qualifying for the season-ending championships.
The flagship event of the ATP World Tour’s autumn Asian swing, the inaugural Shanghai Rolex Masters was won by Nikolay Davydenko, who defeated Rafael Nadal in the final. Titles for Andy Murray (2010-11) and Novak Djokovic (2012-13) followed, with Juan Martin del Potro and David Ferrer featuring in the finals as well as Federer, who finally captured the title in 2014 when he beat Gilles Simon in the final.
Federer returns to defend his title in 2015 as he looks for his second Masters Series title of the season after winning Cincinnati. The world no. 2, who also reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals, is one of four players who have already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Championships – Djokovic, Murray and Stan Wawrinka being the other three, all of whom will be starring at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Federer (Cincinnati), Djokovic (Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome) and Murray (Madrid and Montreal) have captured all the 2015 Masters Series titles so far in 2015 – will this magnificent trio continue to dominate when the Shanghai Rolex Masters is played from 11-18 October?