Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro used blistering ground strokes to upset world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday and advance to the Shanghai Masters final against Novak Djokovic.
With the win, Del Potro also booked a spot in the eight-man, ATP World Tour Finals for the fourth time. That year-end event will get underway next month at the O2 Arena in London.
The Argentine's forehand was the difference in the match, enabling him to dictate the rallies and blast winners when the Spaniard left the ball short.
Nadal had not lost his serve in reaching the semifinals but was broken three times by the fifth-ranked Del Potro, who broke a four-match losing streak against the Spaniard.
"I played so solid all the time, hitting the ball so hard," Del Potro was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour's Web site. "I saw Rafa playing very far off the baseline, which is good for my game, for my serve, and confidence. That's the way to beat this guy."
Next up in the final will be the second-ranked Djokovic, a 6-2, 7-5 winner earlier Saturday over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Shanghai Masters is one of the biggest hard-court events on the ATP World Tour calendar and the season's top tournament played in Asia. EFE