The 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters is on this set as the final stop on the Asian swing calendar of the season. The last but one Masters 1000 of the season has all the ingredients to be a high-caliber event as seven top 10 players are bidding for the crown.

Roger Federer, the current world No. 2 and the defending champion of the event leads the pack as the highest seed of the main draw. The 37-year-old will have his first match in the ATP circuit since losing that fourth-round encounter at the 2018 US Open. Novak Djokovic, the world No. 3, leads the bottom half of the draw as the Serb Tennis superstar pushes for a late bid that could bring him the No.

1 year's end ranking.

Roger Federer's first obstacle and his potential route in Shanghai

According to ESPN, Roger Federer received a bye for the first round of the event. He will face either Daniil Medvedev or the wild-card, Ze Zhang, next. Medvedev is coming to Shanghai riding a huge wave of confidence after his spectacular display of tennis last week in Tokyo, Japan. As a qualifier, Medvedev went all the way to supreme glory and captured the title after beating home crowd favorite Kei Nishikori in the final.

The upper half of the draw presents a great opportunity for Roger Federer, especially after today's results. With Milos Raonic out of the contest, Federer seems to have a clear path if he's to move towards the higher stages.

While Kei Nishikori looms for a potential quarterfinal encounter, the semis might put Federer on opposing sites with some familiar foes as Juan Martin del Potro and Dominic Thiem are sharing an interesting quarter. The young Croatian tennis star Borna Coric may also be a factor as he managed to solve Stan Wawrinka riddle earlier today.

Why is Shanghai so important to Federer?

Although he's still ranked second in the world, Roger Federer had a difficult second part of the season thus far. He needs a clean victory in Shanghai in order to hold off Djokovic's bid. Moreover, it's perhaps his last chance to clinch a Masters 1000 title this season as he traditionally doesn't attend the Paris Bercy tennis event that puts a cap on the regular season.

Among all those losses and that somewhat shocking change of endorsement, Roger Federer seems to have lost some of his finesse. It's been a droughty last couple of months as he hasn't won an ATP title since Stuttgart.

According to his official profile on the ATP website, Federer holds a 36-6 win/ loss record in 2018, we all can agree that these aren't great numbers for Roger Federer. Hopefully, he can improve those stats with yet another stellar performance at the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters.