Djokovic defends Shanghai Masters title, beats Del Potro in final

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Novak Djokovic (Player Bio) successfully defended his Shanghai Masters title after beating Juan Martin Del Potro (Player Bio) in an absolutely brilliant final, prevailing 6-1 3-6 7-6 (3).

Novak started the match on a high note, earning himself three break point chances on Delpo’s serve in game two. Despite commiting unforced errors on the first two, the Serb came up with a forehand inside out winner to take the third chance and go 2-0 up. Subsequently, it was Djokovic who had to avert two break point threats from the Argentine. With a help of a couple of winners, he found his way out of trouble, eventually holding serve. Nole proved to be unstoppable in this opening set and after taking Del Potro’s serve once more, he got to a well deserved lead in this final encounter.

Del Potro got off to a lot better start at the beginning of set two, playing the kind of tennis that got him the straight sets victory over Nadal in yesterday’s semis. Firing from both angles and stepping up his first serve percentage, the Argentine managed to take Djokovic’s serve to get to a 3-0 lead. The Serbian player’s opportunity to break back arrived in game 7 when 40-0 up on Delpo’s serve, but he failed to convert any of the chances, with the Argentine wrapping up the game (5-2). A few minutes later, the outcome of this year’s Shanghai Masters was going to be decided in a third set.

Both players brought their very best into the deciding set, entertaining the Chinese crowd with some spectacular shot making. First to get to break point opportunities was Del Potro in the fifth game, but World No.2 Djokovic came up with some big serves to hold for a 3-2 lead. In the very next game, it was Del Potro’s turn to escape a 15-40 deficit, getting the crowd behind him as he punched his fists when levelling the score at 3-3. The key moment of this enthralling showdown came in the 10th game when the Argentine was serving to stay in the match. Djokovic as vigilant as ever, he showed off his amazing defending skills, forcing Delpo to commit errors, getting to two match points at 40-15 up. However, with the massive support of the Argentinian fans, Del Potro managed to stage a superb escape. A couple of games later, a tiebreak was to decide who the winner is going to be this year. The players exchanged one mini break each at the start of it just before Djokovic grabbed one more of Delpo’s serve after a 24 shot rally finished off with a stunning forehand winner. This proved to be just enough, wrapping up the breaker with 7-3 and capturing the title.

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