- ATP World Tour Finals
Djokovic awaits Federer or Murray in London final
Novak Djokovic will contest the final of the ATP Tour's season-ending event against the winner of Roger Federer and Andy Murray after he came from a set and a break down to beat Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday.
Djokovic, looking to win his second ATP World Tour Finals crown, is one hurdle away from repeating that 2008 triumph after he proved too stubborn for Del Potro. Having trailed by a set and 2-1 in London, Djokovic eventually clinched a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory to book his spot in Monday's showpiece, where Federer or Murray will join him later in the day.
The world No. 1 had revenge to exact on Del Potro, who beat him in their Olympic bronze medal match back in August. Reuniting old rivalries on English soil it looked like Djokovic would suffer again, but his ability to find extra resolve in times of adversity rescued him as it has done so often.
Settling into an early groove at the O2 Arena, Djokovic had two break points in Del Potro's opening service game, although the sixth seed resisted thanks, in part, to a booming forehand winner down the line.
The seventh game brought a first break chance for the underdog, courtesy of a shocking attempt at an easy smash by Djokovic, but once again the opportunity went begging as both men sparred for the breakthrough.
It eventually arrived - somewhat surprisingly - for Del Potro late in the set, allowing him to serve out for the advantage. The forehand was undoubtedly his chief weapon, constantly forcing Djokovic well beyond the baseline as the Argentine became increasingly aggressive.
Del Potro then broke again, this time early in the second, showing a willingness to mix things up with Djokovic as the pair engaged in a battle of the slices. Del Potro stayed patient, waited for his moment, and then thundered a forehand up the line that drew a gasp from the crowd as he moved ahead 2-1.
Few players have the reserves of Djokovic though, and he fashioned four break-back chances in the next game, taking the last to restore parity in the set at 2-2. A further two opportunities came in game eight, converted again as the world No. 1 battled back - serving out the set to force a decider.
The comeback appeared to be inspired by a greater willingness on the part of Djokovic not only to employ his own backhand, but also to concentrate his own shots towards the backhand of Del Potro. It led to another penetration of his rival's serve at the start of the third, and now all Djokovic had to do was complete the job with a serve that was claiming over 80 per cent of points when the first delivery landed.
The difference in the respective physical intensity of the two players was beginning to show as Del Potro increasingly struggled to mount an offence, and he was broken again as Djokovic advanced to the final after two hours and 12 minutes.