This is an interesting topic. I am a local Chinese staying in Shanghai. Yes, I have to say it is a small crowd of audience for this master tournament. I got the same feeling as I watch TV.
But I don't think ticket price is an issue. With only RMB160, you get to enter all the courts including the center one, without limits for entry. A lot of people earn more than RMB5000 a month by doing normal office work. Anyone reckons the ticket expensive?
The major problem should be the location. The stadium is crazily far away from the downtown. You have to drive 1 hour or even longer to just arrive at the stadium. People just took a whole week National Day Holiday for last week, and just got back to work since this Mon. Not many people got the energy to drive far away fighting through all the terrible traffic to watch the match. Isn't it more relaxed to just stay home and watch TV?
Btw, I did go to the stadium to watch the 1st day match last Sun, when it was still the holiday. I guess you will see much bigger crowd in late this week when the tournament goes to semifinals.
Thanks for the comments with firsthand info and real substances, something this thread needs badly. Really appreciate it. Too bad timing of the Masters (and previously the Masters Cup) doesnt work with my annual vacation time in Shanghai. Otherwise I'd love to spend a week at the stadium and enjoy some world-class tennis. That and Formula 1 Shanghai!