When the U.S. Open ends, and the weather turns rough throughout most of the tennis-playing world, the top tennis players in the world go indoors. They also go to the Far East where they play a series of tournaments including a Masters 1000 event. There's plenty of money and a handful of titles still to be won before the season is over. Let's look at what this means for the ATP tour's top three players.
The No. 1 player in the world just finished a successful Davis Cup tie with Switzerland in the World Group playoffs against the Netherlands. Federer will play in the Shanghai Rolex Masters 1000 starting on October 8. That's his only stop on the Asian tour before he heads back to Europe. Whether because of the travel demands or not wanting to spend an extended time in the Far East, Federer doesn't play a lot in this area of the world. He didn't play a single Asian tournament in 2011, and only played the Shanghai Masters in 2010. He makes sure he's back in Europe for the Basel Open in October, the Masters 1000 in Paris, and then typically finishes his year strong at the ATP World Tour Finals in November.
Djokovic tends to play quite a bit more in the Far East. This year he will play in the China Open before the Shanghai Masters. In 2011, Djokovic missed his Asian tournaments recovering from a back injury brought on by a very long season. This year he heads into the last portion of his 2012 schedule pretty healthy despite a disappointing year. Djokovic won in Shanghai in both 2009 and 2010 and would clearly like to finish out this year with a few more titles.
Murray's first tournament after his breakthrough U.S. Open title will be at the Japan Open. He will proceed from there to Shanghai to join Djokovic and Federer in the Masters 1000 tournament. Murray won both events in 2011, and also won the Shanghai Masters in 2010 as well. I expect Murray to continue the excellent play he has displayed over the past few months, but it will interesting to see how he performs against a Roger Federer who can be virtually unbeatable indoors this late in the season.
Upcoming Asian Portion Of ATP Schedule
China Open (Beijing) - Starts October 1 (ATP 500)
Japan Open (Tokyo) - Starts October 1 (ATP 500)
Shanghai Rolex Masters - Starts October 7 (ATP 1000)
Julie is a featured tennis contributor for the Yahoo Contributor Network. While she waits for the next great American tennis player to come along, she has been enjoying watching some of the current greats in tennis.