Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic has a first-round bye along with the other top eight seeds including Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Roger Federer.
Fifth seed Federer, desperate for points as he tries to reach the season-ending World Tour Finals in London, faces the daunting prospect of a quarterfinal with Djokovic. He must first get past either former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt or Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
“It’s a difficult first match for me. It would be great to play Lleyton,” Federer said. “We go back a long way and I remember playing him in Shanghai when the first Masters Cup was here, he beat me in the semifinals and went on to win the tournament. We have had some amazing matches. Even if I play Seppi, that will also be tough.”
Djokovic will meet Davis Cup teammate Janko Tipsarevic or Spain’s Marcel Granollers in his opener, while second seed Nadal will expect to meet Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.
Colombia’s Alejandro Falla defeated Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun 6-4, 6-3 in the qualifying tournament yesterday.