The Shanghai Rolex Masters

The Shanghai Rolex Masters tennis tournament drew crowds to watch the world's best players compete.

The Shanghai Rolex Masters ATP 1000 tennis tournament was hosted from Oct. 9 to Oct. 16  at Qi Zhong Tennis Center.

The tournament was founded by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in 2009 in efforts to maximize on the market potential of tennis in China. Women do not play in this tournament, so the two events are men’s singles and men’s doubles. This year, second seed Andy Murray from Great Britain defeated Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain in the finals to be named this year’s singles champion with prize money totaling USD 7,655,640. American duo John Isner and Jack Sock defeated Henri Kontinen from Finland and John Peers from Australia in the doubles final.

I attended the tournament for the quarterfinals, held Oct. 14. It’s a hike to get to the stadium–from Century Avenue I took two different trains for a total of seventeen stops to get to Xin Zhuang station just to get on a shuttle for 45 more minutes before finally arriving at the complex.

However, it was worth it. The main stadium is an architectural masterpiece. It’s famous for it’s “Magnolia Roof,” a retractable roof which the tournament’s trophy is actually designed after. There really isn’t a bad seat in the whole stadium, even the upper levels provided a nice view of the court.

There were four matches that day, but I only saw two. Number one seed, and number one in the world, Novak Djokovic from Serbia squeaked out a win against Mischa Zverev from Germany to advance to the semifinals. The match was followed by Andy Murray defeating David Goffin from Belgium to also advance to the semis.

The stadium was relatively empty considering the caliber of the players, but it didn’t keep them from playing their hardest. Djokovic got off to a rough start with a lot of errors, but eventually came back to win the match in the third set. Murray and Goffin played consistently well, making their match particularly interesting for the spectators.

The main stadium had plenty of options for food, from pizza to Chinese style street food to salads and sandwiches. However the most popular “dining” destination, especially for the Europeans, was the Heineken bar. They were running a promotion: buy two beers and get a cute little Heineken beach hat. So yes, by 4 PM half the heads in the stadium were adorned with Heineken beach hats.

Outside of the main stadium there was still plenty to do. The doubles courts almost always had a match on.  There was also a multi-story food pavilion with higher end dining options and a Mercedes Benz and Rolex showroom to browse.
Even for someone who isn’t necessarily a huge fan of tennis, the Rolex Masters was definitely a fun event to attend. I had a great time, and most definitely enjoyed all the day had to offer.

This article was written by Isabel Adler. Please send an email to to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Isabel Adler

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