Former No. 1 stars Roger Federer (Player Profile) and Novak Djokovic (Player Profile) could possibly clash for the 30th time on the professional tour in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Both players will have to get past two rounds of action in the stacked tournament, yet the anticipation for this match-up is already visible. Check out the Federer vs Djokovic Head to Head.
The sixth-seeded Federer will open up his bid with a potential match-up against long-time rival Lleyton Hewitt, who has to get past Andreas Seppi in the first round to set up the encounter. Hewitt has only beaten Federer once in the last decade and will be looking to send the Swiss legend home early. Federer currently leads the series 18-8, with their last meeting over two years ago in the Davis Cup.
“”I’m really just focused on my own game, my first‑round opponent. It would be a difficult first match against Lleyton. We go back a long way and I remember playing against him in Shanghai when the first Masters Cup was here. He beat me in the semifinals and went on to win the tournament. Even if I play against Seppi, that will also be tough because he is a very good player”
If the former No. 1 gets past the Australian obstacle, he could potentially meet No. 10 Richard Gasquet in the third round if the Frenchman gets past Vasek Pospisil and fellow countryman Gael Monfils. Federer holds a 10-2 lead in the series and has not lost to Gasquet since 2011.
In the scenario that Federer gets past those two tough opponents, he will likely encounter fellow former No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the first time this year. Having competed against each other on 29 different occasions, with Federer leading the series 16-13, their first meeting in 2013 will likely be an entertaining affair. Out of their five contests in 2012, Novak leads 3-2, with wins during the clay court season and at the World Tour Finals at the end of the season. Federer did manage to usurp Djokovic’s No. 1 ranking for a few weeks after he defeated him in the Wimbledon semifinals.
This particular encounter will be a crucial one for both competitors, as Djokovic is adamant on regaining the top spot in the ATP rankings, while Federer is battling for important points to qualify for the tour finals.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Final was one of Federer’s top goals of the year. The former No. 1, who has won the year-end championships a record six times, still has a strong shot of making the tournament with a strong showing in Shanghai and for the remainder of the month.
“It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for [London]. I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that,” said Federer. “It’s extra motivation for me to play well and be part of that great tournament.”
With several story-lines currently in play, this should be an exciting week of tennis and will likely determine the near-future for many of the top players.