Well the tournament has already started...
But most of the top 8 in the field have not started playing yet so let's predict on how they will fare.
Rafael Nadal: There's not much to say about this man who seems to be going through he best year of his life. After just winning Tokyo, he's probably in good form so I see him making the semis in the very least.
Novak Djokovic: Ever since the U.S. Open, he's been playing much better; far more aggressively and keeping his mind together. Plus, he's just won Bejing so I expect him to reach the semis as well
Roger Federer: He says he has been working hard in the the three weeks that he's had so one should expect him to go far. But then again, he probably has a lot of rust to shake off, which will make is first match hard, especially if he ends up facing John Isner.
Andy Murray: Considering that the finals are in London again this year, it would be really nice for Andy to start getting some more momentum in this tournament. Actually, he still hasn't qualified, so unless he wants to disappoint loads of British fans, he will be working hard to improve his form I presume.
Robin Soderling: The hard court is one of his best surfaces and so far Soderling has been posting very solid results. Although he got hammered by Ferrer recently in the China Open, don't be surprised if this man can make it past both Federer and Djokovic.
Nikolay Davydenko: Was it just a year ago during this time when Davydenko seemed to be the hottest man on tour? I believe he acutally won this tournament as well. It'll be interesting to see whether or not he can defend his title. He himself feels that he has no pressure since he knows he will not make it to the World Tour Finals anyways but his chance of defending the title is, according to him, a mere 'possibilty'. And I agree; although he lost to John Isner recently, it was a close match and he is one dangerous man in the field at Shanghai.
Tomas Berdych: He's struggled quite a bit since reaching his first Grand Slam final this summer. After losing in the first round at the U.S. Open, both his matches in his Davis Cup tie, and in the first round at Beijing to a qualifier, one should not expect too much from him in this tournament.
Mikhail Youzhny: He won the Malaysian Open recently so he's in good form. You never know when Youzhny can pull off a good upset, and he's a solid player so don't act surprised if he's suddenly in the semis facing Nadal again.
Semis: Nadal d. Youzhny
Djokovic d. Federer
Finals: Nadal d. Djokovic