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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Del Potro could keep tabs on veteran Federer

Argentinian deserves plenty of respect on fast court

Juan Martin Del Potro hits a return against Viktor Troicki in Shanghai,
1 of 1

ATP Shanghai Masters
Sky Action, 9.30am, & Arena, 1pm Saturday
WTA Hong Kong Open
BT Sport 1, 7am Saturday

There's a cracking line-up in the last four of the Shanghai Masters with world numbers one and two Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer being joined by Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro.

Nadal had to dig deep for the first time in the tournament to defeat Grigor Dimitrov on Friday and while the Spaniard is playing superb tennis - and probably better than when he won the French and US Opens - he may not be a certainty to lift the title in this hallowed quartet.

He's still the man to beat right now, though, although Cilic has theoretically always been capable of troubling the Pearl of Manacor.


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It's a similar story in the bottom-half semi-final between Federer and Del Potro. The Argentinian, who is guaranteed a return to the top 20 next week, is going about things in his typically languid style but the way he denied Alexander Zverev earlier this week means he is entitled to plenty of respect for his date with the second seed.

Diego Schwartzman made Federer pull out lots of stops in an earlier round, so by rights Delpo, who was recommended by Racing Post's Dan Childs at 28-1 before the tournament started, should do the same.

Del Potro is a shade of odds-on to win at least a set and that could be the way to go for anyone eyeing an interest in the clash.

In the women's action, bookmakers expect Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to set up an all-Russian final with victories over Jennifer Brady and Qiang Wang, although both outsiders are in decent fettle.

Maria Sharapova is favourite to reach the Tianjin Open final with victory over Shuai Peng, but the experienced Chinese played a blinder to thrash Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0 6-1 on Friday.

Recommendation
J M del Potro to win at least a set
1pt 10-11 Betway

Already advised outright
J M del Potro to win Shanghai Masters
1pt each-way 28-1 Coral
Qiang Wang to win Hong Kong Open
1pt each-way 25-1 bet365


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Maria Sharapova is favourite to reach the Tianjin Open final with victory over Shuai Peng, but the experienced Chinese played a blinder on Friday
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