Novak Djokovic’s second Chinese title in as many weeks shows that only a days after losing his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal, he is fighting to get it back. His 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(3) defeat of Juan Del Potro marked his seventh trophy in China and fifth of the season, He has won his last 20 matches in the country going back three years.
“It was a great experience again in Shanghai with a thrilling performance from both my opponent tonight and myself,” said the repeat Shanghai champion from 2012. “The tournament had a fantastic final. I’m just very glad to go out as a winner from the court tonight from such a close match.”
Del Potro, the nearly-man who won the US Open four years ago but has lost in all three of his Masters 1000 finals, didn’t win a game until 35 minutes into the match. He saved two match points in the third set before Djokovic closed it out in two and a half hours.
“Either one of us could really have taken the title,” said Djokovic, winner of 39 career trophies, who beat Nadal a week ago for the Beijing title. “I just managed to hold my emotions and I managed to believe in the victory enough in the end to play the right shots at the right time.
“I’ve been living my dream here and I’m trying to cherish every moment. For me this is one of the best events in the world I’ve always been coming out to China and making some really, really good results, winning trophies.
“It’s very positive because most of the people would think after the fourth Grand Slam of the year (US Open) is over, that somehow the season is finished – in the minds of maybe people who are not following consistently the tennis season.”