Novak Djokovic carried on his rich vein of form as he capped his China Open success with a second crown in as many weeks, winning a close contest against the Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 3-6,7-6 (7-3), to secure the Shanghai Masters title.
The game threatened to be much shorter than the eventual 2 hours and 32 minutes, as Del Potro couldn’t find the lines, hitting shots wide or long on the Djokovic serve.
To compile this, he struggled tremendously to hold his own serve, only winning 11 points on his own serve in the first set with his second serve contributing only three points to this tally.
This allowed the Serb to dominate, opening up a 5-0 lead, which he converted into a 6-1 first set victory, in a fully one sided affair.
It was a different Del Potro who began the second set, as the shots he was missing in the first were becoming winners, allowing him to finally break serve on Djokovic’s first service game of the second set, giving him the advantage.
He didn’t allow Djokovic to move back into the set either and closed it out clinically, with a love game; equalling the tie at one set each.
The last set was then a thriller, with neither man wanting to let his grip on the trophy slip. They matched each other hold for hold and it looked destined for a tie break.
This was nearly dramatically altered though, as with Djokovic leading 5-4, he had the matches first match points, two of them. He failed to convert these however and the scores were levelled at 5-5, with Del Potro unwilling to allow the game to fall from his grasp.
The game then moved into the expected tie break, unlike the set however, it wasn’t close. With the scores at 3-2, the decisive moment came and the Serb illustrated why he has been so successful in recent years, hitting a great cross-court shot, going a mini-break up.
This proved to be the last salvo, as the great Serb’s habit of winning continued, winning the tie-break 7-4 and securing his 15th Masters title, retaining the title he won in emphatic style last year.
It bodes well for the Serbian too, as his great form and recent win over Rafael Nadal make him a strong favourite for the ATP Tour Finals in London next month.
It is hard to see anyone beating Djokovic and his confidence is through the roof as he is unbeaten since his US Open Final defeat to Nadal.
He will be looking to defend the ATP Tour Final crown in won last year and add the third ATP Tour Final crown to his collection, a feat he has a real chance of realising.
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