June 12, 2024

Open Court


Shanghai Masters 1000 suffers mass defections

It’s a Masters 1000, so the world’s top 50, with rare exceptions, are automatically entered in the Shanghai Masters.

But this year, the ranks are thinning quickly.

Since the original entry list came out, a host of players – some 20 per cent of the original roster – are out.

Some are obvious and expected because of injuries, although Juan Martin del Potro was hoping to be back by now.

Juan Martin del Potro

Nicolas Almagro

Tommy Haas


But then there are the rest:

Lleyton Hewitt

Gaël Monfils

Radek Stepanek

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Fernando Verdasco

Verdasco looked like a lost soul on court during his loss to Grigor Dimitrov earlier this week, having learned that his girlfriend’s father had died that day.

Among other questions marks might be Ernests Gulbis, who pulled out of the doubles in Beijing before he even played his singles matches, in which he retired  down 2-6, 0-3 to qualifier Martin Klizan.

All of that is great news for the  players who weren’t originally in the draw: Vasek Pospisil, Dominic Thiem, Donald Young, Pablo Andujar, Kukushkin, Steve Johnson, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Ivan Dodig (even Roger-Vasselin may not be at full strength; he also retired in his match in Tokyo).

It’s not the same tournament without all those players – the depth and intriguing early-round matches you might expect won’t be there.


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