Roger Federer might end the year 2007 in such a classy way (as he usually did) by winning the Shanghai Open. However, I predict that by next year in year 2008, we will see more players raise their game to beat the world number 1.
For the last two three years, Rafael Nadal has been Fedex's biggest rival. And I believe there will be no difference in year 2008 particularly the first half of the year. However, Nadal's knee injury could blow his chance in winning the French Open at Roland Garros for the fourth times as Fedex has been aiming the only Grand Slam he's missing in his prized collection. These two titanic rivals will definitely dominate the finals again next year and keeping other players at bay.
We have seen Fernando Gonzalez beaten Fedex in Shanghai Open and I believe it's still possible for Gonzalez to do that again but not in crucial finals and in the Grand Slams. So does Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer. However, these two players might surprise us based on their excellent performance this year. As for Nikolay Davydenko, he has landed himself in too many controversies including a match-fixing accusation. And I don't see him as a big threat to Fedex although he is the world number 4 as Fedex has a series of record of beating him in straight sets.
The only player besides Nadal whom I can see giving tough challenge to Fedex next year is David Nalbandian. Nalbandian is a very talented player and there have been some great battles between them in the past. This Argentinian player could step up and raise to be among the top 3 players next year.
Fedex is still going to dominate the professional tennis scene in 2008. But the question is, will he improve even more on clay court like what he did earlier this year?