Djokovic draws Murray and Federer in pursuit of third Shanghai title

Novak Djokovic draws Andy Murray and Roger Federer as he seeks his 20th Masters title in Shanghai next week

Novak Djokovic, with three Masters titles to his name already this season, is seeking the 20th of his career in Shanghai next week.

The world No1 will begin as favourite in the glamorous Chinese city where he has won the title for the last two years. But just as in Beijing this week—as well as at the US Open last month—he finds the other two-time Shanghai champion Andy Murray in his quarter. The Briton lost out in his third consecutive final in 2012 to Djokovic.

The Shanghai tournament, though, boasts an outstanding field of 17 of the top 20 players that includes six Grand Slam champions and three further players with Masters titles to their names.

World No2 Rafael Nadal and No3 Roger Federer have both reached the final in Shanghai—in 2009 and 2010 respectively—but both are seeking their first title here. They currently lead the table of Masters winners, Nadal with 27 and Federer with 22, but Djokovic is closing fast. However, not only does Djokovic face the prospect of Murray in the quarters but of Federer in the semis.

All three men, though, have tripwires on the way to their allotted places.

Djokovic will face either Lukas Rosol or Dominic Thiem in one of the opening match-ups of the draw, and then either the in-form Tommy Robredo or Kevin Anderson in the third round.

Murray, without a bye here, faces a possible repeat of his Beijing opener against the dangerous Jerzy Janowicz in the second round, having negotiated a qualifier. Janowicz took Murray to three tough sets this week and, just as memorably, to four sets at Wimbledon last year.

Murray could then face David Ferrer, who he has just passed in the Race to London, in the third round, though Beijing semi-finalist Martin Klizan is also here.

Federer’s opening segment contains Vasek Pospisil, who challenged him so strongly in Basel last year, and Roberto Bautista Agut. Danger lurks in the quarters, however, with the surging US Open finalist, Kei Nishikori, pursuing his first ATP World Tour Finals, and he has beaten Federer in two of their last three meetings.

Grigor Dimitrov, just outside a qualifying position for London, will need to score his first win over Nishikori in the third round after two losses—one of them here last year—if he is to keep his hopes for the World Tour Finals alive.

The bottom Nadal half is packed with tall, big-hitting men, a number of whom also want to consolidate their London places. Nadal’s first seed could be John Isner, and the quarters may throw him either Ernests Gulbis or Milos Raonic.

If Nadal negotiates those hurdles, he is likely to be left with Stan Wawrinka, who beat him for the first time in the Australian Open final—and is still waiting to confirm his London spot—or the winner between Tomas Berdych and Cilic, both of whom are in the running for London as well.

However, No15 seed Fabio Fognini, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon are also in the Wawrinka-Berdych quarter.

The three missing men missing injured are Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils.

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