2017 Shanghai Masters: Federer Returns for Masters Event

Roger Federer returns to the ATP tour this week to compete for the 2017 Shanghai Masters title, with the veteran Swiss set to go head-to-head with his old rival Rafael Nadal for the crown.

Although 2017 was billed as the year new talents such as Alexander Zverev would break through in grand slams, Nadal and Federer took full advantage of the injury problems faced by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic to share the four majors equally between them.


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Federer was troubled by a back injury at the US Open, losing in the quarter-finals and opening the door for Nadal to triumph at Flushing Meadows, to add to his French Open crown.

But the Swiss is back and ready to fight for ranking points and titles over the closing weeks of the season, with a strong field set to face off in Shanghai for this prestigious, enjoyable event.

Nadal and Federer are well clear of the field in the Race to London rankings list, but numbers three and four – Zverev and Dominic Thiem – are also going to be playing in China this week. The group of potential winners of this tournament is a big one, with the likes of fourth seed Marin Cilic also certainly capable of coming out on top on the Chinese hard courts.

Although French stars Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lead an injury list that also features Milos Raonic, Philipp Kohlschreiber, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych, the action promises to be highly competitive between some of the modern greats of the game.

Outright Betting Odds

Bet365, ComeOn and William Hill have all published Shanghai Masters odds and you can see a comparison of those odds below. Use this table to compare the odds across all the best places to bet on tennis online and get the most for your money. We are listing the top-20 players according to their odds, but you can visit any betting site by following the link at the bottom of each column to see odds on the entire field.

 Bet365ComeOnWilliam Hill
Rafael Nadal2/19/45/2
Roger Federer5/25/25/2
Alexander Zverev10/19/110/1
Nick Kyrgios14/116/116/1
Marin Cilic16/114/120/1
Juan Martin Del Potro16/118/122/1
Grigor Dimitrov20/118/120/1
Dominic Thiem22/125/125/1
David Goffin25/125/125/1
Kevin Anderson33/140/140/1
John Isner33/133/150/1
Sam Querrey40/140/150/1
Richard Gasquet50/166/166/1
Roberto Bautista-Agut50/140/150/1
Denis Shapovalov66/166/166/1
Jack Sock66/180/1100/1
Pablo Carreno Busta40/150/150/1
Lucas Pouille66/150/150/1
Alexandr Dolgopolov100/180/166/1
Kyle Edmund100/1125/1100/1
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Nadal and Federer Lead the Field

There is no surprise whatsoever to see Nadal and Federer are listed at the top of the odds for the Shanghai Masters, with both men having won a pair of top-tier events already this year, alongside the two grand slam trophies they have each won.

With 1,000 ranking points up for grabs at this tournament, levels of motivation should be strong even among elite stars such as Nadal and Federer who are certain of being in London for the World Tour Finals at the end of the year.

As the man in better shape and form, Nadal is perhaps a more tempting proposition than Federer, with the Spaniard available to back at a price of 5/2 to win the Shanghai Masters.

Nadal put in a strong performance at the China Open last week, while he was dominant at the US Open despite not having to beat another top talent during his victorious run in New York. Nada’s finish at the China Open was simply outstanding as he defeated Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

It is harder to find reasons to support Federer, although he will certainly be a contender assuming he is fit enough. The Swiss is offered at a best price of 5/2 for this event, but with doubts over his fitness those odds are just too short to be taking on this week.

Zverev Aiming for Third Masters Title of 2017

Alex Zverev remains the likeliest of the next generation to disrupt the so-called Big Four of Nadal, Federer, Murray and Djokovic, although he is yet to perform on a grand slam stage.

At Masters events, however, the young German has been superb this year, beating Djokovic in the final in Rome to announce himself to the world and following up that maiden top-tier crown with another crown when he beat Federer in Montreal.

Zverev has nothing to fear from either Nadal or Federer at the Shanghai Masters and the 20-year-old is the most obvious contender for the tournament aside from the two veterans.

At a price of 10/1, Zverev is just about big enough to back here, with his recent form since the US Open decent without being outstanding. Zverev collected a pair of straight-set wins at the Laver Cup but suffered a shock early loss at the Shenzhen Open to Damir Dzumhur.

Zverev looked back to his dangerous best at the China Open, however, and having acclimatised to Asia in the last couple of weeks he has a clear advantage over the likes of Federer who have not played at all on this leg of the ATP tour yet.

Dzumhur Leads Dark Horses

Damir Dzumhur is a late entrant to the Shanghai Masters, with the 25-year-old benefiting from those who have pulled out with injuries to earn a place in the draw. Most casual fans would not have even heard of the Bosnian until a few weeks ago, when he won the first ATP title of his career by triumphing in St Petersburg.

Dzumhur followed up that victory over Fabio Fognini in Russia by collecting the biggest win of his career, beating Zverev in Shenzhen on his way to the semi-finals, where he was edged out by Alexandr Dolgopolov in two tight sets.

A first-round loss to Grigor Dimitrov in the first round of last week’s China Open showed Dzumhur is not quite ready to join the elite, but he has been one of the form players on the tour over the course of the last month.

At a very big price of 150/1 to win the Shanghai Masters, Dzumhur’s chances of coming out on top of a high-class field may be remote but he could be worth a small stakes each-way wager here.

Dimitrov in Contention Again

A lack of consistency remains the major issue holding Dimitrov back from being an elite star, but the Bulgarian is certainly among the potential winners of this year’s Shanghai Masters.

Dimitrov, currently ranked in the top 10 in the world, can be backed at a decent value price of 20/1 to win second Masters 1000 title of the year, following up his Cincinnati crown.

That victory in the United States was achieved in a field missing a lot of star names, but Dimitrov regardless demonstrated he has the class required to come out on top of a major tournament.

Depending on the draw he receives, sixth seed Dimitrov could be worth backing either each way or to win, with the Bulgarian having looked in strong shape at the China Open last week.

Shanghai Masters Best Bets

The history of the Shanghai Masters offers few clues as to the winner of this year’s event, with three-time champions Djokovic and Murray both absent as a result of their injury issues.

Second seed Federer is the only man to have broken the Djokovic-Murray duopoly of this tournament since Nikolay Davydenko beat Nadal in the 2009 final, the last and only time the Spaniard made it through to the Shanghai showpiece.

Federer is therefore perhaps slightly better value than top seed Nadal at a price of 5/2, although the Swiss is likely to be rusty after a few weeks off the tour recovering from a back injury.

Aside from the big two, Zverev is certainly the most likely winner and the German is strong value at 10/1 to win his third Masters title of the year, which would eclipse the two each that were won by Nadal and Federer in the first half of the campaign.

Nick Kyrgios and Dimitrov competed in the last Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati and could be each-way options at 16/1 and 20/1 respectively, with the in-form Dzumhur an even longer shot.

With a deep field of talent there are a few potential winners of the Shanghai Masters, but Zverev provides the best value and victory would be his latest step on a path to undoubted greatness.