London: Juan Martin del Potro will make his fourth appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after becoming the latest player to qualify for the season finale, to be held at the O2 arena in London from 4-11 November. Del Potro, who was a finalist in 2009, secured his berth at the Final Showdown after toppling World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Saturday.
"I'm so, so happy to be back in London for the [Barclays ATP World Tour] Finals," said del Potro. "Only eight players have the chance to be there and I'm one of them. The most important thing is the way I qualified. I've been playing really well. I'm so glad to show good tennis and I'm looking forward to closing a good year in London."
The 25-year-old Argentine joins Nadal, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer in the elite eight-man field. Home favourite Andy Murray also qualified, but was forced to withdraw from the tournament after undergoing back surgery. Del Potro reached the semi-finals last year and achieved his best finish in 2009, as runner-up to Nikolay Davydenko, at the event’s inaugural edition in London.
The Tandil native hoisted the trophy at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo last week, claiming his 16th tour-level title. Just three match wins shy of 300 for his career, del Potro advanced to his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final of the year in Shanghai. A finalist at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (l. to Nadal), he was the champion on the hard courts at both the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam and the Citi Open in Washington earlier in the year. Del Potro also staked claim to his first Grand Slam semi-final, at Wimbledon, since winning the US Open crown four years ago.
"Juan Martin is such a great player to watch and we’re delighted he’s qualified for the 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals," said Tournament Director Andre Silva. "He has become a fan favourite wherever he plays on the ATP World Tour, especially in London. We welcome his return to our season-ending event for a second consecutive year.”
Four singles and five doubles team berths remain up for grabs with three crucial weeks remaining in the Emirates ATP Race to London.Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka, Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga currently find themselves in the final four positions, with Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic close behind.