from itf website http://www.itftennis.com/abouttheitf...e.asp?id=15863
Tennis Masters Cup draws are made
The draws for the Tennis Masters Cup singles and doubles events have been made in Shanghai, and are as follows:
Red Group: Roger Federer, Guillermo Coria, Ivan Ljubicic, David Nalbandian
Gold Group: Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Nikolay Davydenko, Gaston Gaudio
Red Group: Bryan/Bryan, Knowles/Nestor, Paes/Zimonjic, Arthurs/Hanley
Gold Group: Bjorkman/Mirnyi, Black/Ullyett, Llodra/Santoro, Huss/Moodie
Action gets underway next Sunday 13 November at the futuristic new Qi Zhong Stadium, Shanghai. Play begins at 1pm on Sunday, with two singles round robin matches, followed by two doubles round robin matches. From Monday through Friday, there will be two doubles round robin matches starting at 2pm, with two singles round robin matches not before 7pm. The doubles semifinals begin on Saturday 19 November at 2pm, with the singles semifinals not before 7pm. The doubles final will be held on Sunday 20 November at 1pm, with the singles final not before 4pm. Daily reports will appear here on www.itftennis.com
Lleyton Hewitt has withdrawn to be with his wife as she prepares to give birth to their first child, and Andy Roddick will also miss the event with a back injury. Their places have been taken by Gaston Gaudio and David Nalbandian, who stand at 9th and 11th in the Indesit ATP Race (No. 10 Marat Safin, the Australian Open champion, withdrew earlier due to injury).
Despite the withdrawals, Shanghai is set to host a week of top-class tennis. Nobody would be surprised if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the top two players in the world, end up squaring off in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before that happens. Youth will face experience in the Gold Group as Andre Agassi, the oldest player to qualify for the circuit-ending championships since Jimmy Connors did so at the same age in 1987, takes on Rafael Nadal. In the Red Group, Federer will no doubt be disappointed that he must meet in-form Ivan Ljubicic, runner-up in Bercy last week to Tomas Berdych.
Ljubicic, who will be in action for his country at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final in Bratislava on December 2-4, has found a rich vein of form in recent weeks, reaching the finals in four of his last five ATP events, and winning the titles in Metz and Vienna. Ljubicic has won 20 of his last 23 matches, and is the first Croat to qualify for the Tennis Masters Cup since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001.
“It’s an absolute dream come true. This is what I have been aiming for the whole way,” said Ljubicic. “After winning a Grand Slam, I think this is the biggest achievement as you have to play well for the whole year to reach this goal.”
Federer is going for his third title in a row at the $4.45 million event, having recovered from an ankle injury in time to defend his crown. He is already assured of the year-end World No. 1 Ranking.
For the third year running, the Tennis Masters Cup doubles event will be played alongside the singles. The top seven teams in the ATP Doubles Team Race have qualified, with Wayne Arthurs/Paul Hanley claiming the last available place in Paris last week. The eighth spot goes to Wimbledon doubles champions Stephen Huss and Wesley Moodie, with Bob and Mike Bryan, Jonas Bjorkman/Max Mirnyi, Wayne Black/Kevin Ullyett, Mark Knowles/Daniel Nestor, Leander Paes/Nenad Zimonjic, and Michael Llodra/Fabrice Santoro the other teams who will be competing.
The welcome ceremony, player press conferences and media round tables are scheduled for Saturday 12 November. Both singles and doubles competitions are round robin events consisting of two groups of four, with group winners facing the runners-up from the other group in the semifinals.
Tickets for the Tennis Masters Cup are still available - please visit the official website www.masters-cup.com
for details on how to buy them, and for any other information on the event. Members of the media should also be aware that the deadline for applying for accreditation to cover the event has now passed.