Murray, Wawrinka, Nadal Feature Wednesday In Shanghai
No. 2 seed Andy Murray, No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka and No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal, along with Chinese No. 1 Di Wu, feature at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Wednesday.
Play on Stadium begins with Wawrinka taking on 21-year-old qualifier Kyle Edmund, who enters at a career-high No. 48 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The #NextGen star lost to Murray in the Beijing quarter-finals on Friday before winning matches on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Shanghai. Edmund recently reached the fourth round at the US Open, falling to Novak Djokovic before the Serbian star was beaten by Wawrinka in a four-set final.
In the second match, Wu, the only Chinese player to win an ATP Challenger Tour singles title, faces 2014 Shanghai finalist Gilles Simon for a spot in the third round. The wild card Wu defeated No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas for his second ATP World Tour win on Sunday, surviving a back-and-forth final set that featured 10 service breaks before the tiebreaker. Later on Stadium, Nadal takes a 5-0 FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record into his meeting with Viktor Troicki.
Murray caps the Stadium schedule against American Steve Johnson in a rematch of the 2015 Shanghai second round. The Brit won 6-2, 6-4, but Johnson served with a 4-3 third-set lead when he met Murray again in the Rio Olympics quarter-finals. Murray broke back and went on to win his second gold medal. Also among his 40 titles are four won in China: 2010 and 2011 Shanghai Rolex Masters, 2014 Shenzhen Open and 2016 China Open.
Johnson and Edmund are seeking their biggest wins on Wednesday, as are Paolo Lorenzi against World No. 6 Milos Raonic and qualifier Taylor Fritz against World No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut. Lorenzi is 0-14 lifetime versus Top 10 opponents, while Fritz is 0-7 against Top 20 players. Also on Union Pay 3, Tomas Berdych could inch within 245 points of Dominic Thiem in the Emirates ATP Race to London by beating Marcel Granollers. Thiem is No. 8 in the race, with only the Top 8 players ensured a berth at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Also trying to track Thiem down are No. 11 seed David Goffin, No. 12 seed Nick Kyrgios and No. 13 seed Lucas Pouille, who all play on Grandstand. Kyrgios defeated Goffin in the Tokyo final on Sunday, but still trails the Belgian by 50 race points. The Emirates ATP Doubles Race to London is also heating up with first-and second-round matches on Courts 4, 5 and 6. As in the singles race, four spots remain in doubles at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Among the contenders in action Wednesday are Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram, Treat Huey/Max Mirnyi and Henri Kontinen/John Peers, who are sixth, seventh and eighth in the race respectively.
Looking ahead, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares would pass Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the No. 1 team in the race, by winning their Shanghai quarter-final on Friday. Murray and Soares have yet to play a point this week after receiving a first-round bye and a second-round walkover. Herbert and Mahut, who now lead Murray and Soares by five race points, are not in the Shanghai Rolex Masters field this week. In addition, Murray would reclaim the No. 1 doubles ranking from Mahut individually if he and Soares reach the Shanghai final.