Juan Martin del Potro Defeats Robin Haase at Paris Masters in Quest to Earns Spot at the ATP Finals

Juan Martin del Potro is one step closer to earning a spot in the big show…

The 29-year-old Argentinean tennis star  moved closer to securing the last spot for the season-ending ATP Finals by beating Robin Haase 7-5, 6-4 in the third round at the Paris Masters.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro, who lost to Roger Federer on Sunday in the Swiss Indoors final, is in 10th place in the race to qualify for the tournament.

Only the top eight players will compete in London and there is one place left, to be taken in Paris.

“I would love to reach London once again. It could be a fantastic moment for me,” said del Potro, who was way back in 47th place in the race before the U.S. Open.

“I’m excited to keep improving for this kind of surprise. I love to surprise myself and that’s what I’m doing now.”

del Potro has a tough challenge next, against big-serving John Isner.

The ninth-seeded Isner, last year’s runner-up to Andy Murray, hit 25 aces as he beat sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (10), 5-7, 7-6 (3).

Nadal to Face Roger Federer in the Swiss Indoors Final

Rafael Nadal is set to face Roger Federer in a title match for the first time since May 2013.

The 29-year-old Spanish superstar advanced to the Swiss Indoors final on Saturday after beating Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 7-6 (7).

Rafael Nadal

Nadal played his best tennis of the week to set up his match against Federer, who eased to a 6-3, 6-4 win in 64 minutes against unseeded Jack Sock of the United States in the semifinals.

Almost 2½ years after Nadal beat Federer in two sets for the Rome Masters title, the 34th matchup of their careers will come at Federer’s hometown event.

“I have played against Roger hundreds of times around the world,” said Nadal, who has a 23-10 hold over his old rival. “In Madrid a couple of times in finals, but I have never played him in his home.”

Outside of finals, their last competitive meeting was in January 2014, when Nadal won an Australian Open semifinal in three straight sets.

After three straight three-set matches at Basel, Nadal finally got a more straightforward win.

Nadal overcame dropping his serve in the opening game of each set and saved two set points for the fifth-seeded Gasquet in the tiebreaker. He clinched the victory on his second match point when Gasquet sent a backhand wide.

Nadal seemed in trouble trailing 4-3 in the first set when he called for the trainer at a changeover.

Returning with tape below his right knee, Nadal quickly turned the match around and broke Gasquet’s serve twice to take the first set, clinching it with a fierce forehand topspin passing shot.

“I had one scary moment but then it’s fine,” Nadal said. “I am happy with the way the knee answers after that.”

Again, Nadal struggled on serve to start the second set, though Gasquet needed seven break-point chances before finding a winner in an exchange of volleys at the net. Nadal leveled when Gasquet served for the set leading 5-4.

Nadal suggested Federer would start as the favorite Sunday with a better record on indoor hard courts.

“I don’t have the ideal opponent to win again, but I won on grass [against Federer] after a couple of years without winning,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion.

del Potro Defeats Roger Federer for Second Straight Swiss Indoors Title

Juan Martín del Potro has denied Roger Federer a hometown victory yet again…

The 25-year-old Argentine tennis star defeated Federer 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4 to claim the Swiss Indoors title for the second straight year.

Juan Martín del Potro

“I am a winner, I don’t take much confidence from losing matches,” said Federer. “I am happy about the level of my play, it’s getting better, but it’s not in losing where I get much confidence.”

Federer had hoped that the boisterous crowd support in Basel — where he is a five-time champion — could help revive his form. He’s won just one title in the past 14 months.

del Potro beat the player he described as “a big inspiration” for the third straight time, including the 2012 Basel final.

“I think Roger is playing well,” said the world No. 5 player. “For me, he has the perfect game. He played much better when he has the chance to play the top guys.”

del Potro earned his 17th career title and fourth this season. He also won at Rotterdam in February, Washington D.C. in August and Tokyo this month, all on his favored hard-court surface.

On Sunday, Federer lost the first set despite playing some of his best tennis this week.

After del Potro took a 5-3 lead with the first break, Federer responded with four straight points on his opponent’s serve and shouted in triumph.

Facing two set points in the next game, Federer hit an ace and won a long, slugging rally that brought a yell of delight from the sold-out crowd of 9,200.

Still, del Potro dominated the tiebreaker helped by two net cords in his favor, and clinched the set when Federer sent a forehand wide.

Federer leveled the match with much less drama in the second set, after breaking to take a 2-0 lead with a forehand crosscourt winner. He broke again to clinch the set, set up by a pinpoint forehand winner, and got a standing ovation as he headed back to his seat.

“Roger started to play much better. In the finals, you can’t relax in any moment,” del Potro said.

Federer quickly wasted the advantage of serving first in the third, despite saving a break point with a leaping backhand overhead winner after del Potro’s deft lob. He double-faulted to give del Potro a second opportunity and then hit a forehand long.

“I did hand the break over to him a little bit too easily in the third set, but I did well today,” Federer said.

Serving for the match, del Potro hit an ace to set up three match points, and converted the second with strong groundstrokes to move Federer around the court.

del Potro improved to 48-13 this season and earned $480,000 for the victory.

del Potro Reaches Swiss Indoors Final

Juan Martín del Potro is back in familiar territory…

The 25-year-old Argentine tennis star outlasted Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on Saturday to reach his second straight final at the Swiss Indoors.

Juan Martin del Potro

The top-seeded del Potro, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, came back strong after a dip in play in the second set, and brushed aside the 65th-ranked Frenchman in the deciding set.

“I made a lot of mistakes in the end of the second set,” said del Potro. “He was there taking chances. He has nothing to lose in this match.”

del Potro is gunning for his fourth title of the year, after winning titles in Tokyo, Washington, DC and Rotterdam.

He’ll play Roger Federer in the finals, a rematch of last year’s championship. del Potro won that match 6–4, 6–7, 7–6 to unseat the two-time defending champion.

Nadal to Compete at the Swiss Indoors Tournament After Nine-Year Absence

Rafael Nadal is returning to competitive play in Switzerland after a long hiatus…

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis superstar, who won his eighth Barcelona Open title last month, is scheduled to play at Roger Federer‘s hometown tournament for the first time in nine years.

Rafael Nadal

Organizers of the Swiss Indoors announced their star attractions for the October 19-27 event in Basel. The field is headed by five-time champion Federer, Nadal and defending champion Juan Martin del Potro.

Nadal last played in Basel in 2004, losing in the first round to Rainer Schuettler of Germany.

The Spaniard also lost early to compatriot Feliciano Lopez in 2003, the only year he and Federer both played at Basel.

The Swiss Indoors, played on carpet then, is now a hard-court tournament.

Nadal has a 19-10 career record against Federer, including a quarterfinal win last month at Indian Wells.

del Potro Defeats Federer to Claim Swiss Indoors Title

Juan Martín del Potro played the role of spoiler at the Swiss Indoors Basel to add another title to his count…

The 24-year-old Argentine tenista beat hometown favorite Roger Federer in the finals on Sunday, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3) to claim his fourth title of the year.

Juan Martin del Potro

Del Potro demonstrated a remarkable all-around game to avenge a heartbreaking loss to Federer in the 2012 Olympic Games semifinals in August.

“It was an unbelievable final,” said del Potro, who never dropped serve and raised his game in the decisive tiebreaker. “You can’t wait, you have to go to (get) the victory.”

Federer, who won the event in five of the past six years, was seeking his 77th career title to tie John McEnroe at fourth on the Open Era list.

“I didn’t play a good tiebreaker in the third and that was the story of the match,” said Federer, offering generous praise to his opponent. “I definitely think he is right there again.”

Juan Martin del Potro

Del Potro ended a six-match losing streak against the top-ranked Swiss player this year, which included a five-set defeat at the French Open.

“This time it was for me,” said del Potro, who improved to 3-13 lifetime against Federer. The first of those victories was in the 2009 U.S. Open.

del Potro won for the second straight week after taking the Vienna title. It’s the 13th title of his career. He will likely remain No. 8 in the world when the rankings are updated Monday.