Tennis Masters Cup – Wednesday preview


Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:03

Dare we say the more glamorous of the two groups at this weeks Tennis Masters Cup moves back into the spotlight on Wednesday, with a cracker of a contest lined up when top seed Roger Federer takes on Andy Roddick.

Its crunch time on Wednesday the singles matches on day four of the elite eight-man event in Shanghai will go a long way in deciding who moves into the semi-finals from the Red Group.

Top-seeded Federer could be under some serious pressure when he steps on court for the 18th meeting of his career with the American at 8pm. If Andy Murray beats Gilles Simon in the opening singles of the day, Federer will have to win to avoid elimination from the event.

Despite Federer having won a staggering 15 times against Roddick, nothing can be taken for granted anymore when the Swiss steps on court he has lost 14 times during 2008.

Both men fell in their opening matches on Monday and Roddick admits they will face one another in unusual circumstances. We both have our backs against the wall, the American said, which is different than almost every other time we’ve played in a Masters.

I think we’ve always been the frontrunners in our group when we’ve played before so it will be interesting. Its a tough group, but you don’t go into the Masters expecting to have an easy road.

Its not completely unfamiliar territory for Federer, however. Last year he lost his opening match against Chiles Fernando Gonzalez before blazing his way to his fourth Masters Cup crown in five years a point that isnt lost on Roddick.

I’m gonna ask you to rewind to last year. I’m going to ask you who won this tournament, and I’m going to ask you how he did in his first match, the American pointed out. Hes gonna come out ready to play. I’m expecting his best. And I’m going to have to play well if I want to get a victory.

Having beaten Roddick on Monday, should third-seeded Murray repeat his recent Madrid Masters victory over Simon, the Briton will be guaranteed a semi-final place on his first visit to the ATPs end-of-season showcase event.

Equally, though, Simon will be brimming with confidence having toppled Federer in his opening match on Monday and will be just as keen to defend his 100% record at the event and move to within touching distance of the last four.

The day begins with more doubles action and two matches from the Gold Group. The second contest of the day will be key in deciding which two pairs advance to the semi-finals when second seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic take on Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyett, both having won their opening matches.

Wednesday order of play (2pm start local time)

Dlouhy & Paes V Fyrstenberg & Matkowski
Nestor & Zimonjic V Bjorkman & Ullyett

Not Before 6:00 PM
Murray V Simon

Not Before 8:00 PM
Federer V Roddick


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.