Del Potro doubt for Shang­hai semi­fi­nal, Nadal surges on­ward

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - SPORTS -

Juan Martin del Potro could be forced out of his Shang­hai Mas­ters semi­fi­nal Satur­day against Roger Fed­erer af­ter the Ar­gen­tine suf­fered a wrist in­jury in an awk­ward fall on court.

In the other last-four show­down Rafael Nadal will play Marin Cilic af­ter the red-hot world No. 1 had to fight his way past Grigor Dim­itrov 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

Six­teenth seed Del Potro hero­ically clam­bered off the floor from a set down to knock out Ser­bia’s Vik­tor Troicki 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

But it came at a high cost and he was due to see a doc­tor straight af­ter the match to see the ex­tent of the dam­age to his left wrist, which has been op­er­ated on three times be­fore and in the past threat­ened to end his ca­reer. If the Ar­gen­tine, 29, does miss out it will be just his lat­est in­jury heart­break.

“I felt some­thing wrong in that mo­ment but I con­tin­ued to play with slices to try to fin­ish the match, but now it’s time to see what the MRI [scan] and also what the doc­tor says,” Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open cham­pion, said.

“I’m a lit­tle wor­ried but I know to deal with all of these things as I have been through them in the past, but I will see what the doc­tor says now and then we will take a de­ci­sion ...

“Of course I would like to play, I would like to be 100 per­cent, but we will see in a mo­ment what’s hap­pened,” he added.

Del Potro’s foot ap­peared to get stuck on the floor and he crum­pled down, land­ing on his left hand and bend­ing it painfully back­ward.

He needed sev­eral min­utes of med­i­cal at­ten­tion and sat on a chair at the back of the court, winc­ing in ob­vi­ous dis­tress.

In­cred­i­bly, he broke the serve of the un­seeded Troicki on his im­me­di­ate re­turn to ac­tion.

Swiss leg­end Fed­erer booked his spot as he eased to a 7-5, 6-4 vic­tory over the un­seeded French­man Richard Gas­quet.

Fed­erer, the sec­ond seed, has not dropped a set all week.

Nadal, who has never won the Shang­hai Mas­ters, is chas­ing a sev­enth ti­tle in a bril­liant sea­son and a hat-trick of tri­umphs on the trot, hav­ing been crowned U.S. Open and China Open cham­pion in re­cent weeks.

The 16-time Grand Slam win­ner saw off the Bul­gar­ian Dim­itrov in Bei­jing last week but suf­fered some hairy mo­ments in get­ting the bet­ter of him again in a nervy quar­ter­fi­nal played in over­cast con­di­tions.

“Very happy, it was a very tough match, both of us played a very high level of ten­nis,” said the 31-year-old Spa­niard, the top seed.

“I en­joyed it, a great bat­tle be­tween two play­ers that are play­ing all the time very fo­cused and in­tense points.

“A lot of matches in a row win­ning and very happy with ev­ery­thing, let’s see what hap­pens to­mor­row, but be­ing able to win in Bei­jing and now semi­fi­nals here ... tough events against tough play­ers. Just fo­cus on hold­ing that mo­men­tum.”

Nadal edged in front when he got the break of serve in the ninth game of the first set and there was noth­ing be­tween him and his good friend Dim­itrov as they en­tered a tense sec­ond-set tiebreak.

The Spa­niard got the mini-break for a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak, but sixth seed Dim­itrov scrapped back to level, and then stunned Nadal to clinch the tiebreak.

They en­tered a de­cid­ing set with Dim­itrov in the as­cen­dancy and the pro-Nadal crowd fear­ing an upset.

Dim­itrov sensed another op­por­tu­nity in the fifth game of the third set, but Nadal sur­vived the break point.

Nadal took the mo­men­tum into the next game to im­me­di­ately break Dim­itrov and fi­nally end the Bul­gar­ian’s re­solve.

The Spa­niard’s vic­tory march was only mo­men­tar­ily held up when a dis­tur­bance broke out in the crowd and the play­ers were forced to wait as a small group of spec­ta­tors was es­corted out of the arena.

A re­lieved Nadal looked up to the sky and raised his arms at the end.

Croa­t­ian fourth seed Cilic beat un­seeded Spa­niard Al­bert RamosVi­no­las 6-3, 6-4.

Del Potro in­jured a wrist that has al­ready been dam­aged sev­eral times.

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