Youth storm promising to make waves at Shanghai Rolex Masters

Don’t be surprised if the exuberance of youth turns over the applecart of experience at this week’s 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters tennis tournament.

Don’t be surprised if the exuberance of youth turns over the applecart of experience at this week’s 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters tennis tournament.

Rising in-form stars such as Alexander Zverev, 20, Wu Yibing, 17, and Canadian Denis Shapovalov, 18, are among the precocious youth of tennis looking to upset some of the more established players at the event held between October 7 and 15.

Zhejiang Province native Wu is redefining the Asian tennis landscape at the moment after scooping his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Shanghai last month.

The 17-year-old’s triumph was enough to secure a wildcard entry to this year’s event, just seven days after claiming the US Open junior title.

He also became the fourth player in the past five years to win a junior Grand Slam title and an ATP Challenger Tour crown in the same season, joining Nick Kyrgios, Taylor Fritz and Zverev.

As a representative of China’s next tennis generation, Wu, together with his parents and coaches, were invited to interact with some of Shanghai’s tennis loving families at Qizhong Tennis Center on the “Family Day” on the first day of this year’s tournament.

The activity is an event meant to inspire and encourage more children to get involved in the sport.

And on the back of Wu’s recent triumphs and stories it should be no surprise to see hundreds running to the local tennis courts.


Mascot of Shanghai Rolex Masters

Current Wimbledon and Australia Open grand slam winner Roger Federer was another star that met with Shanghai tennis fans ahead of the event.

The former world No. 1, and current No. 2, had a one-hour training session with supporters at the Qizhong Tennis Center at the tournament’s “family day.”

Chinese tennis favorite, Wu Di, and a few Disney cartoon characters accompanied the Swiss superstar, as he put racket fans through their paces.

Despite the absence of defending champion Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic, all winners of the previous seven ATP 1000 events this year will be hitting balls aggressively with the record-breaking 19 times grand slam winning Federer. Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov and Zverev will be joined by the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic, to name just a few.

Tournament organizer, Juss Event, made a point of attracting more spectators to this year’s Shanghai event by offering discounts for families.

“It’s been quite a long time since high-level tennis competitions like the Heineken Open and Rolex Masters first landed in Shanghai,” said Wang Lei, marketing director of Juss Event. “There has been an increasing number of followers, and some early followers have already become parents.

“We regard family as a good fans’ unit either attending matches or playing tennis themselves. Tennis is not only a hobby, but also a kind of lifestyle. It also contributes to the building of children’s personality.

“As the local organizer, we are also thinking of organizing more tennis-themed activities and promotions in the rest part of the year to keep local tennis followers involved.”

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