World No. 1 Rafael Nadal was dumped out of the Shanghai Masters on Saturday by inspired Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who blew the Spaniard away with a relentless display of brutal hitting to set up a final against Novak Djokovic.
The giant del Potro, fresh from winning the Japan Open, went into the semifinal at the Qizhong Tennis Center trailing 8-3 in head-to-heads, but rocked Nadal with a double break in the first set and kept up the pressure to win 6-2, 6-4.
Earlier, top seed Djokovic swept aside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 7-5 to earn the chance to defend his title.
Dominating from the baseline on both forehand and backhand sides, del Potro raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set as Nadal desperately searched for a foothold.
A single break was enough in the second set for the inspired Argentine, who hit a total of 28 winners and 31 unforced errors, landing 80 percent of first serves.
Nadal, by contrast, failed with all six of his break point opportunities.
The results (semifinals):
Novak Djokovic bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 7-5; Juan Martin del Potro bt Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4. — AFP