At the age of 38, Roger Federer is still among the best players in the world, capable of challenging Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and fight for big titles. The Swiss is closing on the 50th win of the season, defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas and David Goffin for the place in the quarter-final in Shanghai.
Seventeen years ago, Roger made a debut in Shanghai at the Masters Cup, beating Juan Carlos Ferrero, Jiri Novak and Thomas Johannson before the semi-final loss to Lleyton Hewitt, returning in 2005 when David Nalbandian prevailed in that thrilling final and dominating at this event in 2006 and 2007.
The Masters Cup moved to London from 2009, the same year when Shanghai became a part of the Masters 1000 series, with Roger as the champion in 2014 and 2017. Shanghai Masters has been one of the favorite stops for Federer in the calendar and he will have another opportunity to compete in front of the home fans, signing to play an exhibition in Hangzhou for the next four years.
The first edition will take place between December 27-29, with Alexander Zverev and the Bryan brothers joining Roger for three-day action before they all travel to Australia for the official start of the season. Before that, Federer will hit South America and Mexico after the ATP Finals in November, competing against Zverev and taking some rest before heading to Dubai for 2020 preparations.
Instead of competing at the Hopman Cup where he won the title in 2018 and 2019 together with Belinda Bencic, Federer will travel to Hangzhou, hoping to have more fun with the Chinese fans and enjoy in relaxed tennis before more serious affairs at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open in January.