Novak Djokovic, fresh off his 24th Grand Slam title, has withdrawn from the next ATP1000 tournament of the season, the Shanghai Masters. The 4-time champion will not contest the Shanghai Masters, opting to pull out after his Davis Cup participation immediately after the US Open.
The competition will be making its return to the ATP calendar for the first time since 2019 and will be played over 2 weeks for the first time to accommodate a main draw that has been extended to 96 players. The tournament has also named Swiss maestro Roger Federer as the Rolex Shanghai Masters Icon Athlete of 2023 and will include a tribute to the retired tennis star, himself a two-time winner of the tournament, who is slated to be present for the ceremony.
Without having to beat the World No.1 for the title, the rest of the field will surely capitalise on his absence. Djokovic leaves a competitive field led by defending Shanghai champion Daniil Medvedev, who won the tournament’s last staging before its COVID-induced hiatus.
The Russian, coming off his loss to Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, will be seeking a title defence. He will be joined in the main draw by Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev, as well as tournament debutants Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune and Jannick Sinner. The tournament will also be an opportunity to bolster the ranking positions of the top seeds with 1000 points up for grabs in the race to Turin.
The ATP finals, to be held in November of this year, is contested annually by the top 8 men on the tour and an ATP Masters 1000 title will go a long way in securing a spot in the final eight. Djokovic, Alcaraz and Medvedev have already clinched their spots, which leaves the remaining five positions to be decided.
Sinner and Rune, having served as alternates on previous occasions, are looking for their first outright berths, with Alcaraz set to make his debut after injury sidelined him last year.
In the meantime, Shanghai is the penultimate Masters 1000 before the ATP finals and will be a chance to make some big moves in the rankings ahead of Turin. The competition is the only Masters 1000 held in China and will be held at the QiZhong Tennis Centre from October 4 -15, 2023.