He should definitely make it as far as the semifinals, wherein he could face Andy Murray.
The only thing that could hold him back would be a recent death threat in Shanghai that has the No. 1 player in the world a bit distracted (though probably not any longer).
The desire to keep the No. 1 ranking is questionable nowadays for the Swiss Maestro since he now holds the record at most consecutive weeks with that achievement. However, the passion for being the best is undeniably still there.
Roger Federer discussed the possibility of retaining his position at the top spot of the rankings and said:
"I hope I will finish world No.1 at the end of the year. For me it’s about trying to play well here in Shanghai and go from there. If everything would have been totally focused on world No.1, I would have gone to Tokyo or Beijing most likely and all those things."
Though Tokyo and Beijing are both ATP500 level events and would grant him less points overall, he does have a good point. But I think there is something more here.
Federer has won seven of the nine ATP1000 Masters tournaments in his career. Since Shanghai became one of those prestigious events a few years prior, winning the title has certainly been on Fed's mind.
I believe he has set a goal to capture each of the Masters titles, and his draw certainly allows for him to accomplish just that this week in China.
Follow Bleacher Report Tennis Community Leader and Featured Columnist, Jeff Cohn, on Twitter for more updates on the 2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters.