The Shanghai Rolex Masters: Get your game face on

Culture | by James Weir
Posted: August 14th, 2012 | Updated: August 14th, 2012 | Comments
Andy Murray Shanghai Tennis Rolex masters Every October Shanghai welcomes the best tennis players from around the world to compete in the annual Shanghai Rolex Masters. What is it, you ask? Well, as you'll learn below, the tournament holds a prominent place in the hierarchy of professional tennis. The 2012 tournament begins on October 6th, and tickets for the Shanghai Rolex Masters are available from Ctrip.  >>> The Shanghai event has been classified as one of nine tournaments that make up the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series, which makes it one of the most prestigious events of the year. The ATP uses an incredibly complicated and convoluted set of rules and regulations that determine each individual players world ranking and seems to be in almost constant flux, the details of which can be found on the ATP Tour Rankings Rules and Regulations official site  (I wasn't kidding when I said it was complicated). Read on for more information on the ATP World Tour and the upcoming Shanghai Tournament... The basic gist of it is this: each individual tournament, depending on it's place within the ATP tour hierarchy in terms of importance, is assigned point values. Where an individual places in any given tournament determines the amount of points that they receive, which then contributes to their year end world ranking. The point breakdown is this:
  • For the four Grand Slams the winner receives 2000 points. The four Grand Slams are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S Open.
  • For the ATP World Tour Finals the winner can win up to 1500 points. The Finals are held in London at the end of the ATP Tour.
  • For any of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments the winner receives 1000 points at each event. The Masters 1000 is a series of 9 tournaments, held all over the world throughout the calender year.
  • The Olympic gold medal is worth 750 points.
  • For the ATP World Tour 500 and 250 series, the winner is awarded 500 and 250 points, respectively.
2011 Tennis Shanghai Masters Djokovic The world rankings are used to determine tournament eligibility, tournament seeding and (most importantly) bragging rights. Additionally, a player's world ranking plays a large role in determining how many millions of dollars they will make in endorsement deals, and how much tournaments will pay for an appearance fee. Many of the less important tournaments pay top players a lump sum that the player keeps regardless of how they do in the tournament. The ATP Tour is grueling and practically non-stop for almost the entire year; the best players that can afford to take tournaments off often do when doing so will not effect their ATP ranking. Appearance fees are a way for tournament organizers to guarantee that big names show up and play. So, as an ATP Masters 1000 Tournament, the Shanghai Rolex Masters is a pretty big deal—only the ATP Finals and the four Grand Slams rank higher. The top 30 players in the world are required (that is to say that if they don't show, they are awarded a 0 towards their ATP ranking) by the ATP to attend all four Grand Slams, 8 out of 9 of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series and at least 4 ATP World Tour 500 events, which more or less guarantees that the Shanghai tournament will see most (if not all) of the ATP tour heavy hitters. Which means big boy tennis. Goody. The ticketing system for the center court is more or less divided up into four tiers (unless, of course, you wake betwixt sheets made from RMB 100 notes, brush your teeth with diamond-infused toothpaste  and then consume a ham, egg and ruby omelette for breakfast. If you are part of that class, you can find your tickets here). For the rest of us, center court tickets come in A+, A, B and C categories, increasing in price as the week goes on. Additionally, Grand Stand Court 2 will feature matches Sunday through Friday, and tickets are a steal at RMB 60 (any ticket for Center Court grants you access to the practice courts and court 2). On the small court, for a fraction of the cost, you'll be able to get so close to the players that you'll be able to hear the ball actually hiss as it flies back and forth over the net. Wicked. qizhong forest sports city arena shanghai 2011 Qizhong Stadium is, in a word, in the boonies of Shanghai. It's located in the southwest Minhang District, at the intersection of Yuanjiang Lu (元江 路) and Kunyang Lu (昆阳路). Unless you want to spend piles of redbacks on a taxi ride, you're going to be spending some time on public transportation, so bring a book (maybe this one, to keep with the spirit of things). Take Line 1 to it's southern terminus and take  the pedestrian bridge (the south exit). When you get to the bottom of the stairs, follow the signs for the tournament shuttle, which you can hop on for RMB2. This bus will take you to the main gate at the event. Well there you have it, folks. Get excited, because serious tennis is serious tennis. Stay tuned for more details. We'll make sure to keep you posted as things develop in the coming weeks and months.
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