World number one Djokovic returned to the winners enclosure yesterday by winning a debut title at the Tokyo ATP 500 event and he beat Aussie Millman in yesterday’s final 6-3 6-2. The other tournament last week was in Beijing, China and the final was contested by two of the hottest young properties in men’s tennis, top seed Thiem and third seed Tsitsipas. UPDATE RESULT
On to this week’s action and we have the penultimate Master’s 1000 Series of the 2018 season in Shanghai, which commenced yesterday. The Masters 1000 Series titles on the ATP Tour are usually dominated by the big four of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray and Shanghai is no different as the last nine titles were won by either Federer,Djokovic or Murray. Reigning Shanghai champion Djokovic returns as the top seed to defend his title and his chances of landing an unprecedented fifth has been improved significantly by the news that arch rival and World number two Nadal won’t contest this years title. Second seed and two-time Shanghai champion Federer lines up for a chance to become the oldest winner of a Masters 1000 Series title again and he’s joined by the remainder of the worlds top ten Thiem, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Khachanov and Bautista Agut.
The top two seeds have performed well at Shanghai since its inception in 2009; the top seed won two of the last ten titles (last Djokovic 2015) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last Nadal 2017). The second seed won five of the last ten titles including the last three in a row (last Djokovic 2018), but they were never a losing finalist during this period, which bodes well for Federer’s chances this week. Seeded players have dominated the Shanghai title since its inception and a player seeded no higher than six won the last ten titles and a player seeded no higher than sixteen was a losing finalist in nine tiles during this period. Unseeded players do not have a good record in Shanghai never winning the title and there has only been one losing finalist (Simon 2014).
Past statistics suggest siding with a seeded player no higher than six to win the titles and another one or two seeded players up to sixteen.