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Federer set to swing into Shanghai again

/ 07:59 PM July 23, 2018

BEIJING — Roger Federer’s presence at the Rolex Shanghai Masters has long been a major selling point of the ATP 1000 tournament since its debut in 2009.

The sight of the Swiss great singing in Chinese in a new promotional video to mark the event’s 10-year anniversary underlined that special connection.

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Federer appeared to be improvising as he belted out Happy Birthday To You, word for word, in Chinese, alongside tournament mascot Daishi, before the defending champion confirmed he will make his seventh appearance at the event this year, which runs Oct 6-14.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s affection for the tournament and the city was also particularly in evidence one day last year when he took the subway to the venue, Qizhong Tennis Centre.

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The 36-year-old ultimately beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to lift the trophy, adding to his 2014 title when he overcame Gilles Simon.

“Shanghai is a great tournament, I hope I can come to play every year if my body allows,” Federer said last year in Shanghai.

“And I’d like to bring my family to, not just Shanghai, China in general. It’s such a diverse, interesting country with so much rich history that I’d like to visit more.”

Like many cities around the world, Federer enjoys exceptionally loyal support in Shanghai, with hordes of devotees attending his every public appearance last year.

Tickets on sale

To cater to the mania, fans will again be able watch to Federer and many of the tournament’s other big names warm up for the competition at the venue’s main court on Oct 6.

The premium tickets for the open practice session sold out in two days last week, however a small number of cheaper tickets costing 50 yuan ($7.40) each are available.

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This year’s ticketing program also features a two-day “Super Fan” package, which includes a central-court pass for main-draw action on Oct 10 and 11, as well as a Shanghai City Tour Card for use on the city’s public transport.

As the only ATP 1000 tournament held in Asia, the Shanghai Masters rounds off the tour’s Asian swing in style as the world’s top players compete in the singles and doubles draws for a piece of a prize pot totalling $7.6 million.

The singles winner will earn 1,000 ranking points.

A total of 99 matches-55 in singles, 23 in doubles and 21 in qualifying-are played every year on Qizhong’s hardcourts in western Shanghai.

The venue boasts cutting-edge facilities, including a retractable roof on the main court, and was named ATP Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year five consecutive times, from 2009 to 2013.

“This is a truly distinct year for Asia’s only ATP Masters 1000, the biggest and most important men’s championship in the region,” tournament director Michael Luevano said.

“The Rolex Shanghai Masters has truly been a star for tennis in the Far East. We are excited for this year’s championship and eagerly look forward to the next decade, at least, as we continue to help grow this great sport in the region.”

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TAGS: ATP, China, Roger Federer, Shanghai Rolex Masters, Sports, Tennis
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