Shanghai, China (4E Sports) – Juan Martin del Potro stunned world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, 6-2, 6-4, Saturday to advance to the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
The victory, del Potro’s first against Nadal in over four years, also secured the Argentine a spot in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London.
“I qualify for London. It’s amazing to close the year playing in London with the other seven guys,” said del Potro, who fought off all six break points he faced in the match. He also fired 28 winners and won 66 percent of service points.
Del Potro will now face top seed Novak Djokovic for the Shanghai title, in what will be his fifth final of 2013 and third at the Masters 1000 level in his career.
Djokovic ousted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, in the first semifinal showdown in just one hour and 34 minutes.
Djokovic owns a 9-3 edge against del Potro in their head-to-head showdown, with the Serb prevailing in their most recent meeting, a five set thriller in the Wimbledon semifinals this year.
On the women’s side, Angelique Kerber and Ana Ivanovic set up their championship clash at the Generali Ladies Linz Saturday after beating separate opponents in straight sets.
The top seed Kerber won nine games in a row en route to a 6-2, 6-0 demolition of fourth seed Carla Suarez Navarro. Kerber’s win avenged her loss to Navarro at the US Open recently.
The third seed Ivanovic followed Kerber into the final with a 67-minute, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Stefanie Voegele.
Ivanovic leads Kerber in their head-to-head series, 3-1, though Kerber’s only win in the series did come in their most recent meeting, just a few weeks ago at the Toray Pan Pacific Open over in Tokyo.
In Osaka, fifth seed Eugenie Bouchard beat Kurumi Nara, 6-2, 6-2, to bag her first WTA final at the HP Open. Awaiting Bouchard in the final will be third seed Samantha Stosur.