Federer to double-up with China’s Zhang in Shanghai
Roger Federer will join Zhang Ze on court as doubles partner at the forthcoming 2013 Shanghai Masters tournament in October
Agence France Presse in Shanghai
Tennis superstar Roger Federer will make a rare appearance on the doubles court when he teams up with Chinese number one Zhang Ze at the Shanghai Masters, organisers said.
Federer, who holds a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles but is now striving to stay at the top of men’s tennis, has played doubles only once this year although he won the Olympic title in 2008.
“We know that Roger does not play a lot of doubles through the year so having him take to the doubles court in Shanghai is a wonderful addition to what is already shaping up to be a fantastic week of tennis,” tournament director Michael Luevano said in a press release.
He added: “It is just amazing that Roger has chosen to play with a Chinese player. It is a great testament to his affection [for] China and his Chinese fans; he really could have played with anyone.”
The 23-year-old Zhang, nicknamed ‘Big George’, is China’s highest ranked singles player at 180 – compared to Federer’s world number six – with a doubles rating of 334.
“I know I am going to be quite nervous to be the doubles partner of Roger,” said Zhang. “He is such a big name all over the world and has achieved so much success.”
The October 6-13 Shanghai Masters is shaping up to be an important week for the 32-year-old Swiss Federer as he bids to stay inside the world’s top eight and to reach the end-of-year ATP World Tour Finals event in London.