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Roger Federer & Co. Have An Eye On London In Shanghai

London, England

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer faces a tough draw at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

With the Shanghai Rolex Masters set to play a pivotal role in determining the make-up of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, six-time season finale champion Roger Federer finds himself in unfamiliar territory this week: fighting for his ticket to London. The former World No. 1 holds seventh place in the Emirates ATP Race To London but he is facing sustained pressure to remain in the Top 8, most notable from countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Canadian Milos Raonic, who are all finishing the year strong.

And the Shanghai draw has done Federer no favours; he could run into Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

This will be Federer’s first tournament since bowing out in the fourth round of the US Open (l. to Robredo). Federer reached the Shanghai final in 2010 and the semi-finals in 2012, losing both matches to Andy Murray. The former World No. 1 did win back-to-back titles in Shanghai (2006, 2007) when the ATP’s season finale, then called the Tennis Masters Cup, was held in that city.

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Spain’s David Ferrer, in fourth place, is on the cusp of qualifying for London and is more than 1,000 points ahead of his nearest rival. The Spaniard is followed by Juan Martin del Potro, fifth in the race, who heads into the Shanghai Rolex Masters with a title from the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (d. Raonic). A strong showing in Shanghai would go a long way to sealing his berth in London.

Czech Tomas Berdych, who improved his qualifying chances with a semi-final showing in the China Open, is in sixth place, in front of Federer and Wawrinka, who holds eighth place. In what would be a pivotal match for determining the standings for the Emirates ATP Race To London, Wawrinka could meet 10th place Milos Raonic in the third round of Shanghai, and only 290 points separate the two players. Raonic, who made the final in Tokyo, has a chance to overtake Wawrinka should he win their battle and go on to reach the final.

Currently in ninth place, Richard Gasquet is looking to press his chances for London but faces a tough draw. He could meet fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils in the second round, Federer in the third round, and Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Gasquet has compiled a strong showing in the past month, reaching the semi-finals of the US Open (l. to Nadal), Bangkok (l. to Raonic), and Beijing (l. to Djokovic).

Eleventh place Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 12th place John Isner and 13th place Tommy Haas would need to compile great performances in Shanghai in order to make meaningful progress towards the Top 8.

Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray have already clinched their spots in the tournament, which will be held at The O2 arena 4-11 November.

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