Juan Martin del Potro restores full power to see off Rafael Nadal at Shanghai Masters

 

shanghai

Juan Martin del Potro has never quite rescaled the heights he climbed with his 2009 US Open victory, but the 25-year-old Argentinian underlined here yesterday how close he is to breaking back into the elite group of players who have monopolised the sport's major honours in the last four years.

Del Potro's thumping 6-2 6-4 victory over Rafael Nadal in the Shanghai Rolex Masters took the world No 5 into the third Masters Series final of his career, securing his place in the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. It was his first win in five meetings with Nadal since he beat the Spaniard in the semi-finals en route to his triumph at Flushing Meadows.

In today's final Del Potro will face Novak Djokovic, who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 7-5. Both finalists will be defending impressive winning runs. Djokovic is unbeaten in his last 19 matches in China, while Del Potro has won nine matches in a row during the current Asia swing, including the Tokyo title last weekend.

Nadal, who had no answer to the bludgeoning power of Del Potro's ground strokes, reclaimed the world No 1 ranking six days ago. This was only the second time in 15 tournaments he has failed to reach the final and was just his fifth defeat since returning from injury in February.

The Spaniard had not dropped his serve in 28 games en route to the semi-finals but was broken twice in a row as Del Potro raced into a 4-0 lead. Nadal held on in his next two service games, but Del Potro served out for the first set, completing the job with an ace.

Combining thunderous attacking shots with outstanding defence, Del Potro made the only break of the second set in the third game. Having secured victory after an hour and 45 minutes with a service winner, the Argentinian did a dance of joy.

Djokovic was in command from the start of the other semi-final, taking a 3-0 lead before claiming the opening set in only 34 minutes. Tsonga, whose performances this week have improved his chances of making the field for London, put up more of a fight in the second set. The Frenchman retrieved a break after going 4-2 down but dropped his serve for the fifth time at 5-6, Djokovic converting his second match point with a big forehand winner.

Jamie Murray and John Peers, who are pressing for a place in the eight-team doubles field at next month's World Tour Finals, were beaten 7-6 7-6 by the Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco in the semi-finals.

The Scot and the Australian, who have won three titles this year and were runners-up in Tokyo in their first appearance at a World Tour 500 event, were playing their first Masters Series tournament together. They can still qualify for London but will need to make up more ground in the final three weeks of the regular season.

News
peopleTop Gear presenter and all-round controversialist is at it again
Life & Style
techHow a 'grey brick' took over the world of portable gaming
Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

VIDEO
News
Coren Mitchell, who is the daughter of the late broadcaster Alan Coren and is married to comedian David Mitchell, produced a hand to make poker history at the 98th EPT main event.
peopleJournalist and TV presenter becomes first ever two-time winner of the European Poker Tour
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players