Roger Federer set to make appearance as ATP Tour returns to Shanghai

James Richardson
Roger Federer
Roger Federer

Roger Federer has been invited to Shanghai as the ATP Tour prepares to return to China this year.

The 2023 Shanghai Masters is set to mark the return of ATP Masters 1000 tennis to the country for the first time since 2019 this October following a long absence due to the pandemic and China’s strict policies on gatherings.

Main-draw action In Shanghai will play out between 4 and 15 October at the QiZhong Tennis Centre. The expanded two-week event also coincides with a big national holiday in China.

Federer, a two-time former champion in Shanghai, will return as an honoured guest, having been assigned the title of Icon Athlete of the Shanghai Masters.

China’s fast-rising stars Zhang Zhizhen, Wu Yibing and Shang Juncheng will be huge draws as tennis returns to the country as they are out to steal the limelight from Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, defending champion Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Shanghai Masters has also announced that they will be hosting an ITF J100 international youth tennis tournament simultaneously.

“I’m very excited to be named Rolex Shanghai Masters Icon Athlete for 2023,” Former two-time Shanghai Masters champion Federer said, looking ahead to his return to China.

“I remember coming to Shanghai for the first time for the opening of the stadium and I have been close friends with Juss Event and tournament organisers. I am happy to keep the story going and I look forward to seeing everyone in October.”

Tournament Director Michael Luevano has promised innovation when the ATP Tour touches down in Shanghai.

“Innovation is something we pride ourselves on at Juss Event and in Shanghai,” Luevano said.

“The Rolex Shanghai Masters opened the door to the growth and development of world tennis in China, and we are very proud of our achievements.

“We are the first and only tournament in Asia to be staged over two weeks. It will provide players with more jobs, it will provide fans with more thrilling tennis from some of the most exciting and dynamic athletes in the world, and it will continue to be the spearhead for tennis in Asia.

“The new look Rolex Shanghai Masters, which has been developing over recent years, is ready to shine and ready to return, and host the world’s best tennis players. We will continue to be the benchmark for world tennis in Asia.”

The tennis tours have been criticised for failing to make a firm stand over former Chinese star Peng Shuai.

However, the ATP Tour appear to have no reservations about this move.

“The ATP Tour’s return to China in 2023 is a significant moment for tennis,” ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli said.

“We’re thrilled to mark it with our flagship Asian tournament, the Rolex Shanghai Masters, expanding into a 12-day event. This promises even more incredible action between the best players in the world. We’re excited to reconnect with our Chinese fans this season and to continue building on our sport’s success in the region.”

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