Swiss former world number three Stan Wawrinka will participate in the Shanghai Masters after being awarded one of the wild-cards available for the tournament.
Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam winner, has seen his ranking plummet to outside the top 250 on the ATP Rankings for the first time since he made it into the top 250 in August 2013. After a string of decent performances, he is now ranked 75th in the world, which means he was still not going to get a direct entry into the Shanghai Masters but a wild-card will help him get some valuable time on court.
The tournament director Michael Luevano had earlier said Wawrinka could be one of the players offered the wild-card and the Swiss player has agreed to take on the offer.
Wawrinka, who did not feature in the Shanghai Masters last year before of an injury to his knee, has made it to the 2013 and 2015 quarter-finals at this tournament before losing to Rafael Nadal both times. The last time he featured at this competition was in 2016 where he was ousted in round three by Gilles Simon.
The 33-year-old is coming off a long layoff but has been playing most of the major tournaments since the Rome Masters earlier this year.
He was knocked off in round one at that competition, made it to the round two at Queen’s, was ousted in his opener by Andy Murray at the Nottingham Open and failed to reach the third round at Wimbledon as well.
Moving on to the hard courts, there was a first round exit at Washington Open, a third round defeat at the hands of Nadal at the Rogers Cup before he put up a strong performance to make it to the Cincinnati Masters quarter-finals. Roger Federer needed three sets and two tie-breakers to get past him in that match.
Milos Raonic knocked out Wawrinka in the third round of the US Open, before the Swiss player made just the second semi-final of the year at St. Petersburg where he went down to Martin Klizan.
Interestingly, Wawrinka wasn’t awarded a wild-card earlier this year at the Rogers Cup but the withdrawal of Murray allowed him a chance to compete there.
The one other player who might get the Shanghai Masters wild-card is the 2017 US Open junior champion Yibing Wu.
Here’s Luevano explaining why the Shanghai Masters is so well-preferred by the players from all around the world.