With the greatest population on earth and a thriving economy, China has long been a significant and profitable location for the ATP World Tour. The Shanghai Masters was founded to cash in on the enormous potential in the Chinese market.
The Shanghai Masters (recognized as an ATP Tour Masters 1000 event) is held annually in Shanghai, the largest city in China – and boasts the biggest tennis prize-pools of any tennis championship in Asia.
Total Prize Money: $8.5M
Surface: Outdoor hard courts
Courts, location, and naming
The competition is held in Shanghai at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena. Both singles and doubles matches are included in the event. Due to sponsorship, it is called the Rolex Shanghai Masters. Hard outdoor courts have been used for the matches.
The ATP World Tour and the Chinese Tennis Association developed strategies to grow the sport in China to draw interest from fans and sponsors after realizing the enormous potential of the Chinese and Asian markets.
The Tennis Masters Cup and the Shanghai Open
The inaugural Shanghai Open tennis tournament took place in Shanghai in 1996. The Tennis Masters Cup, the year-end tennis competition, was moved to Shanghai in 2002 as a result of its success. Later, from 2005 to 2008, the event was also held in Shanghai.
Roger Federer won twice during this time, and Novak Djokovic won the 2008 championship. This gave tennis a major boost as it expanded and gained popularity in China and South Asia.
In 2007, the ATP announced plans to establish an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 competition in Shanghai, with the first event set for 2009. The present Shanghai Masters 1000 competition was designed in this manner. It had been given the yearly October time slot, which had traditionally been set aside for the Madrid Open.
Former Shanghai Masters Champions
With the exception of Rafael Nadal, all the notable figures of this era are listed on the Roll of Honour of the Shanghai Masters 1000. Russian tennis player Nikolay Davydenko won the first singles competition after beating Rafael Nadal in the championship match.
Following that, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer continued to win in the usual order. With four victories in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018, Novak Djokovic holds the record for the most Shanghai Masters titles. Andy Murray won the competition three times, in 2010, 2011, and 2016. Roger Federer has won the competition twice in addition to them (2014 and 2017).
As far as the record for consecutive Shanghai Masters 1000 Titles is concerned, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both won two consecutive titles between 2010-11 and 2012-13, respectively.
The French duo of Julien Benneteau and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the inaugural competition in the doubles division in 2009.
Marcelo Melo, a Brazilian expert in doubles, has had the most success overall, winning three titles (each time with a different partner).
Recent current winners
2019 Shanghai Masters champion Daniil Medvedev, the current World No. 1, defeated German sensation Alexander Zverev in the final. Mate Pavic of Croatia and Bruno Soares of Brazil won the doubles division of the 2019 Shanghai Masters 1000 Championship.
The overall prize money for the 2019 event was about Eight and a half Million US Dollars, which is set to break the 10 million dollar figure this year.
Due to the pandemic, both the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Shanghai Rolex Masters were canceled. However, with life slowly returning to normal, the tournament is all set to return in October 2022.
2022 Rolex Shanghai Masters 1000 Tennis Tournament
The 2022 Shanghai Masters 1000 tournament is scheduled between October 9th, 2022, and October 16th, 2022. All the key players on the tennis circuit are expected to make their way to the Chinese Capital in October. Seeing the revival of such a significant ATP fixture is genuinely heartening.