Roger Federer will return to action in Shanghai and will play his first post US Open match in the second round against Diego Schwartzman.
Schwartzman has really come alive on hard courts during the second part of the season, recording some great results. The Argentinean reached the quarterfinals at Montreal and US Open, along with a semifinal showing last week in Tokyo – where he lost in two tiebreaks against a red hot David Goffin. Schwartzman has also started well here in Shanghai, playing a good game to defeat Jordan Thompson 6-4 7-6 in the first round.
Federer had a somewhat disappointing run (for his standards) after his title at Wimbledon, playing just two tournaments on hard courts (not counting the Laver Cup exhibition two weeks ago). The Swiss looked tired and had some issues with his back, losing in the final at Montreal and in the quarters at the US Open. On the bright side, Federer stated that he is now fit and ready to challenge for titles in this final stretch of the season.Bet on Schwartzman v Federer and get your 100% (100 Eur) bonus @ Ohmbet now!
Federer leads the H2H 3-0 (1-0 on hard, 7-1 in sets), but the two haven`t met since 2015, when Schwartzman was yet to emerge as a top player.
Even though Schwartzman did very well on hard courts recently, the very fast surface here at Shanghai favors Federer, who likes to play on these courts. It`s unlikely Schwartzman can produce an upset, but he does have the ability to keep it close.
The Argentinean is in great form, winning matches consistently in the last three months, and he also played very well last week in Tokyo, where he almost derailed a Goffin who seems unbeatable at the moment. He`s in great rhythm, while Federer is expected to be a bit rusty after a one month layoff in which he also had to work a bit on his back. What`s more, Federer usually starts tournaments in the second gear, doing what he needs in order to win, but not pushing much more.
I expect the speedy and gritty Schwartzman to create some problems for Fed here, with the Swiss forced into making some errors by the consistent baseline game of his opponent. Giving Fed a 5 game head start seems a bit over the top, so I will bet on Schwartzman to stay within this spread.
My tip is Schwartzman to cover the 5 game handicap. Even if he doesn`t have the best style to trouble Federer, his form, speed and motivation should be enough to stay close with a potentially rusty Roger. Prediction: Diego Schwartzman – Roger Federer 6-4 3-6 4-6.