Will Djokovic defend his Shanghai Masters crown?
Shanghai-Masters-Live.com review Novak Djokovic's chances of winning the 2013 Shanghai Masters.
Novak Djokovic enters the 2013 Shanghai Rolex Masters as the defending champion. Will he be able to retain the title?
Novak Djokovic was involved in an epic battle in last year's Shanghai Masters final and he can expect another slog if he's to hold onto the crown in 2013. Last time around he met his US Open conqueror Andy Murray in the final and saved five match points before stealing a 5-7, 7-6(11), 6-3 victory from under the Scot's nose. The match lasted for almost three and a half hours.
When Djokovic won last year's Shanghai title it ticked the seventh box in his bid to complete a clean sweep of the Masters 1000 titles. He added the Monte Carlo title to his collection in 2013 but was unable to complete the set in Cincinnati, where he was beaten in the quarter-finals.
Heading into this year's Shanghai tournament Djokovic should be well placed to top the field. However, he's got stiff opposition in his way in the form of Murray and Rafael Nadal. We're yet to see who will pick up the US Open title this season but recent hardcourt form indicates that Nadal is the man to beat. The Spaniard picked up Masters trophies in Indian Wells, Montreal and Cincinnati, leaving him with a 15-0 hardcourt record in the build up to the American slam.
That said, Djokovic has proven to be capable of great things in the past and there's no reason why he can't top the pack again. Novak is currently the world No. 1 and he's already managed to exhibit his hardcourt class this season by winning the Australian Open. Shanghai title No. 2 could well be on the way for the man nicknamed the Serbinator.