Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slams is under serious threat, so it is more important now than ever for the Swiss great to reassert his authority. It has not been the smoothest of years for Federer as he had to endure a gutting loss to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final a couple of months ago.
No sooner did he somehow recover from it than Grigor Dimitrov crushed Federer's hopes for a 6th US Open title by handing the Swiss a quarterfinal exit.
It all comes down now to the two remaining Masters tournaments of the year and Federer would be looking to give it his all, starting from the Shanghai Masters.
After spending a magical weekend during the Laver Cup a few weeks back in Geneva, Federer is slowly getting ready to charge ahead. The second-seeded player in Shanghai, Federer will take on Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening bid for a third title at the Shanghai Masters.
Ramos-Vinolas is not an unfamiliar opponent to the Swiss as they share a 1-1 head-to-head record so far. The Spaniard defeated Marin Cilic in the first round to set up a date with the 38-year-old.
The first meeting between the two took place in 2012 at the Round of 128 stage of Wimbledon, where Federer defeated him convincingly in straight sets before going on to claim the Championship.
The second meeting strangely occurred during the Round of 32 stage of the Shanghai Masters in 2015 and on that occasion, it was Ramos-Vinolas who surprised the Swiss with a three-set victory.
However, it wouldn't be correct to say things are equal between them right now. Federer has displayed some flamboyant tennis over the last few months and has defeated Nick Kyrgios, John Isner and David Goffin in recent outings.
Federer has been handed a difficult draw in Shanghai and going ahead, there are Alexander Zverev, Roberto Bautista Agut, Andrey Rublev and Goffin who could be possible opponents of the Swiss. Federer should look to breeze into the next round with ease unless Ramos-Vinolas does a repeat charm on the 20-time Grand Slam Champion and defeats him yet again in Shanghai.
While the odds of that happening are small, we can rest assured that this encounter is going to be exciting.
Here are all the details you need to know about the match:
Tournament name: 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters
Date: 7 October - 13 October 2019
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Location: Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, Shanghai, China
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Time:  Roger Federer v Albert Ramos-Vinolas from approx. 4:30 P.M IST on 8th October 2019
Where to watch Shanghai Masters 2019?
India - SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD are expected to telecast the matches here.
Live stream details for Shanghai Masters 2019
Shanghai Masters 2019 live stream is available on Tennis TV (a subscription is needed for the service).
Sony Liv will also be live streaming the matches.Published 08 Oct 2019, 16:38 IST