Charles Perrin explains why Daniil Medvedev as the tools to go all the way in Shanghai...
"Medvedev has plenty of mileage on the clock and he cuts a figure who is hungry for success."
Daniil Medvedev has been in blistering form over the past couple of months having reached five finals on the trot. The Russian - who sat out the China Open last week - will be fully fit and firing for the Shanghai Masters and he will be hoping to add another 1000 series title to his cabinet.
Nadal path cleared
With Rafael Nadal pulling out of the Shanghai Masters with a wrist injury, arguably that is one hurdle cleared for Medvedev. Although the 23-year-old will still have Novak Djokovic to contend with, Nadal is a threat regardless of the surface, so it will be a welcome boost for the field. Of course, the Spaniard is a different beast in five sets compared to three, but Medvedev would have loved to have tried to get revenge after his defeat in the US Open final last month.
Medvedev - with his 6ft 6in frame - was very imposing and he had Nadal worried before falling in a deciding set. With his beautiful sliced backhand and deep flat forehand, Medvedev may have counted himself slightly unfortunate not to have lifted his maiden Grand Slam title.
Shanghai is one of the fastest surfaces on the ATP Tour and it is one that will suit Medvedev. His 2019 stats make for good reading too - his win/loss record is 54-17. He has delivered 600 aces, winning 75& of his first serves and 84% of his service games. Added to that, he has won 24 of his past 27 matches and his side of the draw looks enticing and he could face countryman Karen Khachanov in the last eight.
Currently, Medvedev is trading at [6.80] with the Betfair Exchange to lift the Shanghai Masters title.
With Nadal breathing down his neck, Djokovic - who is the defending Shanghai champion - has plenty of points to defend. The Serbian - who is 640 points clear of his rival in the rankings - is looking to tie Pete Sampras' record of six year-end No 1 finishes. However, he has plenty more wins to get under his belt before that happens.
As far as Medvedev is concerned, he will fancy his chances and he has already taken out the World No 1 twice this season. His semi-final victory in the Cincinnati Masters was superb as he didn't allow Djokovic to get into any kind of rhythm and he was able to subdue the 32-year-old - something many players haven't been able to do on the Tour this season.
Djokovic is the favourite in Shanghai as he is priced at [2.38], but he has a potentially tricky looking draw and he is the same and he will start his campaign against the winner of Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe and he could face Medvedev in the last four.
London finale in the bag
With a trip to London in the bag, there is less pressure on Medvedev who can watch the others battle it out to secure the final handful of spots at the 02 Arena. As mentioned, Medvedev has reached five finals in a row. But having already sealed his place at the season finale, the St Petersburg Open champion doesn't need to chase points.
Arguably, this makes him a more dangerous opponent. Medvedev arrived early in Shanghai to acclimatise to conditions and while his season has been tiring, he has plenty of mileage on the clock and he cuts a figure who is hungry for success.
Back Medvedev @ [6.80] to win the Shanghai Masters