In Shangahi 2017, Rafael Nadal entered his 46th Masters 1000 final. A few hours later, after defeating Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, Roger Federer accomplished the same feat. Federer defeated the Argentine for the 17th time in 23 meetings to avenge his loss at the US Open.
The Swiss player overcame a set deficit to win, enter his third Shanghai final, and cross the finish line. In sets two and three, Roger improved, never having to face a break point, and dominating his service games to keep the pressure on the other team.
Juan Martin was unable to maintain that level, dropping serve three times in the final two sets to eliminate his chances of making it to the semifinals. Federer therefore secured a spot in his seventh final of the year and mentioned the 38th encounter with his fierce adversary Rafael Nadal.
In 13 service games, Roger lost only 14 points while serving at a 72% clip, despite taking one break that cost him the first game. In sets two and three, the Swiss conceded nine points after the opening stroke, but they consistently outperformed their opponents on the return to maintain their title hopes.
Del Potro missed the chance to go into his fourth Masters 1000 final and second in Shanghai by dropping 40% of the points he served. He faced ten break chances and was broken three times.
In 2017, Roger Federer made it to the Shanghai Masters final three times.
Starting out strong, the match included seven easy holds and one lost game from each player in the first set.
In game three, Del Potro held after five deuces with another unreturnable serve after almost 10 minutes, saving a break point with an ace. In the sixth game, Roger was the one who struggled, making three backhand mistakes and losing 4-2.
After 37 minutes, Juan Martin finished the set with an ace after holding at 30 in games 7 and 9. The only difference between them was the one break chance del Potro converted; they had an equal amount of victories and mistakes. In the second set, Roger improved, scoring a lot of points on his first stroke (42% of Delpo’s serves were returned), and dropping just three points in five service games.
Juan Martin was far from those figures. When Roger successfully used the fifth break opportunity to go up 4-2 in game six, he was broken. In game eight, the Argentine turned back two set chances to make Federer to serve for the match.
A fast hold from Roger made the score 6-3 and gave him momentum going into the decider. The quickest set was the final one, and because Roger was too dominant in his game, Juan Martin had no choice but to concede if he wanted to maintain his chances of winning.
After Federer‘s brilliant defense in game three, Del Potro lost service, and the match was finished when the Swiss won another return game at 5-3 to set up the eagerly awaited final against Rafael Nadal.