The Shanghai Masters 2023 commences its main-draw action on Wednesday, October 4th, with 14 thrilling first-round matches. Among the competitors, there are three wildcards and five qualifiers ready to showcase their talents on the court.
Returning after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shanghai Masters promises excitement. However, the top two seeds, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev, will not be competing on the opening day.
Let’s dive into the previews and predictions for some of the key first-round matches at this prestigious Masters 1000 event:
Shanghai Masters 2023 Matches :
Match 1: Thanasi Kokkinakis vs. Fabio Fognini
In this encounter, World No. 71 Thanasi Kokkinakis faces off against the seasoned Italian, Fabio Fognini, in their quest for a spot in the second round. Kokkinakis, who is 0-1 in Shanghai thus far, holds a season record of 15-15, coming off a Davis Cup loss to Jack Draper last month.
On the other hand, Fognini, ranked 94th, has secured seven wins out of 14 matches in 2023 and boasts a 10-9 record at this event. Despite the odds, Kokkinakis has a perfect 3-0 record against Fognini, making him the favorite.
Prediction: Kokkinakis to win in straight sets.
Match 2: Richard Gasquet vs. Zhizhen Zhang
Richard Gasquet squares off against the local favorite, Zhizhen Zhang, in what promises to be an intriguing first-round clash in Shanghai. Gasquet, ranked 64th, holds a 10-10 record in Shanghai but has struggled this season with a 14-21 win-loss record, including two consecutive losses.
Meanwhile, World No. 60 Zhang is making his tournament debut and currently stands at 15-15 in 2023. Although they haven’t faced each other before, the more in-form Zhang is expected to come out on top.
Prediction: Zhang to win in three sets.
Match 3: Mackenzie McDonald vs. Corentin Moutet
World No. 39 Mackenzie McDonald faces off against Frenchman Corentin Moutet as they battle for a spot in the Shanghai Masters’ second round. McDonald holds a season record of 30-25 but suffered an early exit in Beijing. He’s 1-1 in Shanghai so far. In contrast, Moutet, ranked 119th, has struggled in 2023, winning only seven of his 22 matches leading up to his tournament debut.
Although this is their first encounter, the in-form American, McDonald, is favored to advance.
Prediction: McDonald to win in straight sets.
Match 4: Brandon Nakashima vs. Bernabe Zapata Miralles
In another unseeded first-round showdown at the Shanghai Masters, Brandon Nakashima takes on World No. 72 Bernabe Zapata Miralles. Nakashima, ranked 123rd, holds an 11-19 season record and is making his Shanghai debut after falling in the Beijing qualifiers last week. Zapata Miralles, also making his tournament debut, has won 18 of his 40 matches in 2023.
In this first-time matchup, experience may tip the scales in favor of Zapata Miralles.
Prediction: Zapata Miralles to win in three sets.
Stay tuned for more exciting action as the Shanghai Masters 2023 unfolds.