The people behind the Shanghai Rolex Masters are understandably boasting that for the third year in a row—not to mention that is every year since the Shanghai tournament has been part of the ATP Masters 1000 series—the players association voted the Shanghai stop on the tour Tournament of the Year.
But strutting around their offices with their chests puffed out isn't all the tournament organizers have been doing this week, though I'm sure there's been an appropriate amount of that. On Monday, in addition to launching a Get Shanghai Rolex Masters tickets on Ctrip until 4 October 2012, at which point you'll have to seek other options. More after the jump...
[pullquote]"The truth is that TV tennis is to live tennis pretty much as video porn is to the felt reality of human love."—David Foster Wallace [/pullquote]Not surprisingly, the other wild cards thus far announced are Qizhong without having to play in the qualifying tournament. Zhang Ze, currently ranked no. 176 in the world, is the top-ranked Chinese male, and will no doubt find himself some fans this coming month.
While Rafael Nadal remains out of action with a knee injury, you can expect to see some serious names at this year's tournament. Double-defending Shanghai champion, newly crowned Grand Slam winner and Olympics gold medalist Andy Murray will be making the trip (not known for his eloquence, Murray recently said that he liked the Shanghai tournament because the people are "friendly"). Roger Federer, the Swiss Maestro and all-around nice guy, will be coming back to Shanghai after missing 2011, and Novak Djokovic will also be returning after a 2011 absence. Expect most, if not all, of the top 50 in the world to be in attendance.
If you've heard about the tournament, you've probably heard this: it's in the boondocks. Well, you haven't heard wrong, but you probably didn't get the whole story. In addition to it being pretty dang easy to get there on your own, That's Shanghai and Heineken have put together a bus service to and from the tournament that offers free flow beer and multiple pick-up locations downtown for a more-than-reasonable RMB 30.
To quote the late David Foster Wallace, "the truth is that TV tennis is to live tennis pretty much as video porn is to the felt reality of human love." So there's that, which pretty much means you have no excuse not to get tickets right now.