While the rest of the players have been toiling away on tour or nursing injuries, Roger Federer arrives at the Shanghai Masters refreshed after a month away from the game.
Federer’s last competitive outing was a four-set quarterfinal loss at the US Open to Juan Martin del Potro.
As a result, he arrived early in Shanghai to prepare for a tournament featuring a court surface, stadium and location that he loves.
“I think taking nine weeks off during the claycourt season … gave me that opportunity to maybe take it easy and save myself for the rest of the season,” said Federer, who in 2017 has played just nine tournaments.
“So I hope actually that I will feel the benefit now; while other guys are maybe getting a bit tired, I’m actually totally still fresh in a sense. I’m used to playing sometimes 70 to 90 or 100 matches a season, so this year that’s not the case.
“That’s why I feel actually quite refreshed here for Shanghai, and then hopefully also for Basel, Paris and London.”
Since its inception in 2009, the Shanghai Masters has been dominated by Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who have each won the title three times.
But with both the Serb and the Scot sidelined with injury, Federer, the Shanghai champion in 2014, is the only player in the field to have won the prestigious hardcourt event.
He is the second seed, behind world No.1 Rafael Nadal.