Shanghai Rolex Masters is a tournament to watch for tennis fans. It looks like the Japanese Masters 1000 has just kicked off, but we are already fully into the action, right where all the best players of the World are compeating for the title. Tonight once again all the best three players of the World will step on court to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
First man of the top three on court tonight will be World No.6 Roger Federer. The Swiss will take on a dangerous opponent, facing French Gael Monfils. In their 7 previous meeting Roger has won 6 matches, only losing to Gael in the semis of the Paris Bercy tournament three years ago. A win for the Swiss however can’t be taken for granted. Monfils is former top 10 player and Grand Slam semifinalist, someone who in a good day can beat the best men in tennis. It will be only the second time in 5 years that these two opponents will face each other on a surface different than European red clay. The last time that happened was when Monfils got his first ever win against Federer. Roger didn’t impress in his first round appearance facing Italian Andreas Seppi. Monfils on the other hand was very convincing in his two previous matches winning in straight sets both against Ito and Pospisil. Final Prediction: Roger Federer wins in three sets.
Next on Stadium court, not before 6 pm local time, Novak Djokovic will take on Fabio Fognini. The Head2Head between these two players reveal that Djokovic has won all 5 previous meetings against Fognini, losing only two sets. In 2013 the two have already played twice. In Indian Wells Fognini won his second ever set against the Serb, who won the match with the final score of 6-0 5-7 6-2. In Monte Carlo Novak just dominated the Italian scoring a 6-2 6-1 victory. Fabio is a talented player that can manage to produce great moments of tennis, but that shouldn’t be enough against an inspired Djokovic, who last week has finally won his first ATP title since April. Final prediction: Novak Djokovic wins in straight sets losing more than 8 games.
Finally Rafael Nadal will close the program on Stadium court facing Argentine Carlos Berlocq. Rafael has faced Berlocq already twice in 2013, both times on red clay and few weeks after being back from the knee injury that left him out of tennis for almost one year. Surprisingly in their first ever meeting this year in Sao Paolo Berlocq won the first set he’s ever played against Nadal. It was the first and last though, as the Spaniard won both encounters, dominating the second match they have played in Barcelona. Seeing how Nadal comfortably dominated Alexandr Dolgopolov, it’s hard to think that the new World No.1 will be challenged tomorrow. Final prediction: Rafael Nadal wins in straight sets, losing less than 6 games.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.