Shanghai, China (4E Sports) – Top seed Novak Djokovic defeated sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(3), Sunday to retain the Shanghai Rolex Masters title.
Djokovic improved his winning streak on Chinese soil to 20 matches and boosted his slim chances overhauling Rafael Nadal in the battle for year-end No. 1 ranking by winning his seventh trophy of the season.
Djokovic has now won 15 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. He also won the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April.
Djokovic earned $729,725 in prize money and 1,000 ATP ranking points, while del Potro picked up $357,800 and 600 points. Both players have already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from November 4-11.
“He’s a fantastic player and a great person,” Djokovic said of del Potro. “He showed that again. He has a really likable personality and he’s a big fighter. All the way up to the last point, I didn’t know if I was going to win the match.”
Djokovic dictated play throughout the 34-minute first set with his forehand, dominating del Potro by striking 13 winners and winning all five net approaches.
In the second set, del Potro rediscovered the form that helped him beat Nadal in Saturday’s semifinal, taking a 3-0 lead and closed it in 44 minutes.
In the third-set tiebreak, Djokovic opened up 2-0 and 4-2 leads before wrapping up the win with a backhand winner down the line.
On the women’s side, top seed Angelique Kerber won her third WTA title after beating Ana Ivanovic, 6-4, 7-6(6), at at the Generali Ladies Linz.
Kerber won the third WTA title of her career, her first two coming last year at Paris Indoors and Copenhagen. All three of her WTA titles have come indoors.
Two days earlier, Kerber also secured the eighth and final spot at next week’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul with her quarterfinal victory over Patricia Mayr-Achleitner.
Kerber rounded out an elite eight that also includes Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova and Jelena Jankovic. Maria Sharapova would have been in the field but unfortunately the world No. 3 had to withdraw from the event with a shoulder injury.