The Rolex Shanghai Masters returns in sensational style in 2023, with an expanded field of 96 players preparing to contest Asia's only ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time since 2019.
The stage for the return of the tournament was spectacularly set as the draw ceremony was conducted at the state-of-the-art Qi Zhong Tennis Center on Monday.
Alongside officials and guests assembled on center court for the ceremony, Felix Auger-Aliassime, the tournament's No.14 seed and China's Bu Yunchaokete, a wildcard recipient, were proud to represent the player group.
Auger-Aliassime, who is Canada's top-ranked player, was thrilled to be involved.
"The players are getting ready to compete and for us players it's also a way of preparing for our first match and see who we are going to play," he said, noting the excitement surrounding the Rolex Shanghai Masters, which received the player-voted ATP Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year award in its first five-years between 2009 and 2013.
"The draw really is a good kick-off of the event. It's so nice to be back here after a couple of years of a break."
Carlos Alcaraz will make his debut at the tournament as the No.1 seed, while Daniil Medvedev, the No.2 seed, returns as the last man to lift the Selangor Pewter trophy in Shanghai after victory over Alexander Zverev in the 2019 final.
Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray are also among former champions, underlining the elite company that the eventual winner of the 2023 tournament will keep.
Reflecting that prestige, and the tournament's upgraded status, players are competing for a remodelled Rolex Shanghai Masters trophy in 2023. It features a gold-plated outline while retaining the inspiration of the roof of the Qi Zhong Tennis Center in its design.
The trophy symbolises extraordinary achievements, honour and power.
High-profile players who are preparing to showcase all those qualities at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2023 include Holger Rune (the No.3 seed), Stefanos Tsitsipas (No.4), Andrey Rublev (No.5), Jannik Sinner (No.6), Taylor Fritz (No.7) and Casper Ruud (No.8).
With those players among 32 seeds at the tournaments, they are each granted a first-round bye.
For Alcaraz, early threats could come from some highly-credentialled seeds placed in his quarter, including No.26 Dan Evans and No.19 Grigor Dimitrov, who was a semi-finalist at the first tournament of the 2023 Asian swing, in Chengdu.
In the bottom half, Medvedev could face Sebastian Korda (the No.26 seed) early in the tournament, with Auger-Aliassime also placed in the same section of the draw.
Local supporters will be delighted to see Shanghai-born Zhang Zhizhen competing at the tournament.
The 26-year-old, currently world No.60, was an upset winner over former finalist Ruud at the recent US Open. Zhang faces veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet in Shanghai's first round.
Te Rigele, who faces Jaume Munar first round, is another Chinese player preparing to compete in Shanghai's main draw. Countrymen Bu meets Miomir Kecmanovic in his opening match, while Shang Juncheng opens his campaign against Yosuki Wataneke.
There are also 48 players vying to gain a main-draw place through qualifying, led by Australia's Rinky Hijikata as the No.1 seed.
Qualifying began in Shanghai today, with main-draw action set to commence on Wednesday.