The ATP World Tour has two more Masters 1000 events on the 2012 schedule. One begins next week in Shanghai, the biggest city in China. Here are ten facts about the event to help fans get ready for the 2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Andy Murray is the defending champion. The newly minted U.S. Open champion beat David Ferrer in the final last year for his eighth Masters 1000 win. Last year Murray pulled off an Asian triple play of sorts, winning in successive starts in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai.
Shanghai is the second Chinese city in a row to host the ATP World Tour. The men are playing the China Open this week in Beijing.
Roger Federer will return this year. Federer was the runner-up in 2010 but did not play this event last year. Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will also join Murray in the field. Rafael Nadal, still recovering from his knee troubles, will miss the event.
QiZhong Tennis Centre is the host venue. The site features a 15,000-seat centre court with a unique retractable roof. The eight sections of the roof look like petals of a blooming flower. The number eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture.
The Shanghai Rolex Masters is one of the newer events on the ATP Masters 1000 schedule. This year will mark just the fourth time the event has been played.
The players certainly like this event. They voted the tournament ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year in each of its first three years of existence. The private locker rooms for the top eight seeds and the gourmet chef in the players' dining room might have influenced the voting.
A nice payday is waiting for the champion. The winner will earn $669,450 and the runner-up will pocket $328,260.
This is an outdoor event, played on hard courts (Deco-Turf). The tournament uses a 64-draw, with the top eight seeds getting first-round byes.
Andy Roddick was one of five Americans to play in this event last year. Mardy Fish, Ryan Harrison, Donald Young and Alex Bogomolov, Jr. all lost in the second round. Roddick advanced to the quarterfinals and lost to David Ferrer.Brad Boeker has been a fan of professional tennis for over 30 years. He coaches high school tennis in Illinois.