Roger Federer beats Juan Martin del Potro to set up clash against Rafael Nadal in Shanghai
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 14/10/17 4:54pm
Roger Federer fought back from a set down to beat Juan Martin del Potro and tee up a Shanghai Masters final against great rival Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss legend and world No 2 was uncharacteristically off-touch in meekly losing the first set, but he rolled back the years to defeat the Argentine 16th seed 3-6 6-3 6-3 to secure a mouth-watering clash against Nadal on Sunday.
"I'm not sure what the stat is because most of them, half of them, maybe, were in finals and that's why the rivalry is so special," Federer said. "I enjoy playing against him even if the head-to-head is not in my favour. He's one of the guys who's made me a better player. I don't want to thank him for that, but it made me go back and rework my game."
Federer, 36, chasing a second Shanghai crown, was out for revenge against Del Potro after the the 2009 US Open champion defeated him in the quarter-finals at the US Open this summer.
Del Potro fell and hurt his left wrist in winning his quarter-final against Viktor Troicki on Friday and there were suggestions he may not even make Saturday's match. But he showed no ill-effects in stunning the pro-Federer crowd to claim his only break point of the first set to move ahead in the contest.
He looked on course to record an upset when Federer failed to convert four successive break points at 3-2 up, but he claimed his next chance to swing the contest his way.
With Del Potro unable to set up a break point in either the second or third sets, Federer was able to progress in one hour and 58 minutes and will face Nadal for a fourth time this season. He currently holds a 3-0 advantage over his rival.
The celebrated duo have faced one another 37 times in total, with the Spaniard and world No 1 Nadal winning 23 of their contests.
Nadal, 31, who has never won the Shanghai Masters, will be a slight favourite this time having triumphed at the US Open and then last week at the China Open for his sixth title of another remarkable campaign.
We will have all the action from the conclusion of the Shanghai Masters before we head to the Erste Bank Open and Swiss Indoors Basel and then the Paris Masters.
The Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and season-ending extravaganza World Tour Finals at London's O2 in November end another memorable year which will be covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs and updates as the season reaches its climax.
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