Shanghai Rolex Masters F
Stadium Court, 4:30 pm
Juan Martin Del Potro (Bio) looks for the first ATP Masters 1000 title of his career in Shanghai when he takes on the defending champion Novak Djokovic (Bio) in the final. Check out the Djokovic vs Del Potro Head to Head.
The Argentinian is 0-2 in Masters 1000 finals in his career, losing both from a set up. Andy Murray was a 6-7 7-6 6-1 winner in Montreal 2009 and it would be four years before Del Potro made his second. Rafael Nadal began his lengthy hard court unbeaten run at Indian Wells this year finishing it off with a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win over Del Potro, coming from a set down to take the first of his five Masters titles.
He got some revenge over the new World No.1 in his semi-final clash, with a stunning display of hitting seeing Del Potro on his way to a 6-2 6-4 victory in 1hr46m. Backed by an 80% first serve percentage, Del Potro performed well on the key points. He faced six break points and would save all of them although a poor line call almost cost him at *2-1 up in the second. However, a challenge confirmed that his shot was in and he would go on to hold. The victory adds to an already great two weeks for Del Potro who goes for his second title running after his Tokyo title last year.
If he is to take it, he will have to defeat an opponent that has generally dominated him. Djokovic leads the Head to Head 9-3 with wins on every surface, although the majority have been on hard courts recently. Their last meeting was many people’s pick for the match of the tournament at Wimbledon, with Del Potro saving multiple match points in the fourth set before falling to a five set defeat 7-5 4-6 7-6 6-7 6-3.
It will be the first time that Del Potro and Djokovic have faced off in a final with the former’s ranking leading to many a quarter-final and semi-final matchups, although two of Del Potro’s wins have been outside of regular tour play, in a Davis Cup victory and a Olympic Bronze Medal match. The final one was at Indian Wells this year, Del Potro coming from a set down to making the final.
It is quite possible that Del Potro will be feeling the strain of a tiring few weeks both emotionally and physically. Djokovic will sense any weakness and would most definitely have the edge if it were to go to three sets but can take confidence from their last three set meeting. Djokovic showed signs of vulnerability in his quarter-final win over Gael Monfils but was back to his best in the semis, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets 6-2 7-5. It promises to be an outstanding spectacle if the players can match their meetings of recent times.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in three sets