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Nadal, Del Potro Set Indian Wells Final Clash

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Nadal© Getty ImagesNadal is aiming for his 600th career win on Sunday

SUNDAY PREVIEW – NADAL, DEL POTRO MEET FOR THIRD TIME IN INDIAN WELLS, FIRST IN FINAL

• The final of the BNP PARIBAS OPEN on Sunday features a player trying to become the first Argentine to win the title in tournament history (since 1976) against a player attempting to earn a record 22nd career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, his third in Indian Wells.

• World No. 5 Rafael Nadal brings a 7-3 career head-to-head against No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro. They have split their previous six meetings on hard courts. Nadal won the last meeting in four sets on Dec. 4, 2011, in the Davis Cup final in Seville to give Spain a 3-1 victory over Argentina. This is also their third encounter in Indian Wells (2009, ’11) with Nadal winning both previous matches in straight sets. This is the eighth time in tournament history that former Grand Slam winners have met in the final.

• Nadal is looking to win his 53rd career singles title, his 22nd ATP Masters 1000, and 600th career match. He has 234 career ATP Masters 1000 match wins, second only to Federer (272). The Spaniard is off to a career-best 16-1 start, winning 13 matches in a row. His previous best start was 15-2 in 2009. He is playing in his first hard court final since losing to Djokovic in the final at the ‘12 Aust. Open. He has lost his last six hard court finals. His last title on hard courts came on Oct. 10, 2010 in Tokyo (d. Monfils). His last hard court ATP Masters 1000 final was at ‘11 Cincinnati (l. to Djokovic). The 26-year-old has an overall 13-match winning streak on the season and 12 vs. Top 10 opponents going back to last year. His last Top 10 loss came to Federer here in the SFs. Nadal will move to No. 4 by winning the title.

• The 24-year-old del Potro is attempting to earn his first ATP Masters 1000 title and 15th crown in his career. He is trying to become the fourth Argentine to win an ATP Masters 1000 title. He is the second Argentine to reach the final here in tournament history. Guillermo Vilas was runner-up in 1977 in Palm Springs (l. to Brian Gottfried). He has a career record of 30-53 (2-1 in 2013) vs Top 10 opponents and 18-40 (2-1 in 2013) vs Top 5. He is trying to defeat three Top 10 players in the same tournament for the second time in his career. ‘09 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London (d. No. 7 Verdasco in RR, No. 1 Federer in RR, No. 9 Soderling in SF, l. to No. 7 Davydenko in final).

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Winner:            $1,000,000 and 1000 Emirates ATP Ranking points

Runner-up:       $500,000 and 600 Emirates ATP Ranking points

ATP WORLD TOUR MASTERS 1000 TITLE LEADERS – Nadal is looking for his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. Here are the leaders since 1990:

1) Rafael Nadal      21                            4) Novak Djokovic               13

     Roger Federer    21                           5) Pete Sampras                 11

3) Andre Agassi      17

MULTIPLE WINNERS – Nadal is looking to become the fourth player to win at least three tournament titles:

                        No.(Years)

Roger Federer    4 (2004-05-06, ‘12)

Michael Chang   3 (1992, ’96-’97)

Jimmy Connors  3 (1976, ’81, ’84)

Boris Becker       2 (1987-’88)

Novak Djokovic  2 (2008, ’11)

Lleyton Hewitt   2 (2002, ’03)

Rafael Nadal      2 (2007, ’09)

Roscoe Tanner  2 (1978-79)

FORMER GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS IN BNP PARIBAS OPEN FINALS (At time of final)
2013 Rafael Nadal vs. Juan Martin del Potro

2011 Novak Djokovic d. Rafael Nadal

2005 Roger Federer d. Lleyton Hewitt

2003 Lleyton Hewitt d. Gustavo Kuerten

2001 Andre Agassi d. Pete Sampras

1995 Pete Sampras d. Andre Agassi

1987 Boris Becker d. Stefan Edberg

1984 Jimmy Connors d. Yannick Noah (LaQuinta)

CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEAD

(5) Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs (7) Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)                Nadal Leads 7-3

Last Meeting: Spain clinched its fifth Davis Cup on Dec. 4, 2011 when Nadal defeated del Potro 16 64 61 76(0) in Seville to give the host nation a 3-1 victory over Argentina. The match lasted four hours and eight minutes.

                                                               Nadal                       del Potro

            Sets Won:                                     18                                       9

            Tiebreak Sets Won:                        3                                        2

            Match Wins By Surface:

            Clay:                                             2                                         0

            Hard:                                             3                                        3

            Grass:                                           2                                         0

NADAL FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights:

  • The 26-year-old Mallorcan native is appearing in his fourth final here (2-1 mark) and overall has a 39-6 match record. Has dropped only one set in five matches en route to the final. Opened with a 76 62 win over Ryan Harrison, received a walkover vs. Leonardo Mayer (back), beat qualifier Ernests Gulbis 46 64 75 ,defeated rival No. 2 Federer 64 62 in QFs and No. 7 Tomas Berdych 64 75 in the SFs
  • Has won 41 of 46 service games (89%), saving 10 of 15 break pts. (67%). Has won 13 of 46 return games (28%).
  • A year ago, lost to Federer 63 64 in semi-finals.  Two years ago lost to Djokovic in final 46 63 62
  • Last year won doubles title for second time in three years (w/Lopez), defeating Isner-Querrey
  • In 2009, defeated Andy Murray in the final and in ’07, he beat Djokovic in the title match. His other semi-final showings came in 2006 (l. to Blake)  and in ’08 (l. to Djokovic)

2013 Highlights:

W(2): Sao Paulo (d Nalbandian); Acapulco (d Ferrer); F: Vina del Mar (l Zeballos)

2013 in Review:

  • The Spaniard is off to a career-best 16-1 start on the season, winning 13 matches in a row. His previous best start was 15-2 in ’09. This is the first time he’s won two titles coming into IW since 2005. Trying to win 600th career match and will move to No. 4 in Emirates ATP Rankings with title
  • In his last tournament on March 2 won his 38th clay-court title and second in Acapulco over No. 4 Ferrer 60 62. Finished the Latin American clay court swing with a 12-1 record and improved to 52-22 in career finals (38-5 on clay)
  • Coming in here, it was 346 days since the Spaniard played his last hard court match at the Sony Open in Miami on March 28, 2012, defeating Tsonga 62 57 64 in a 2:50 battle. Withdrew from his SF match on March 30 with Murray due to tendinitis in his left knee
  • Contesting in his 75th career ATP World Tour final, 52-22 (12-15 on hard) in finals (2-1 in 2013)
  • Appearing in his 32nd career ATP Masters 1000 final, 21-10 (5-6 on hard) in finals. Has 234 career ATP Masters 1000 match wins and Federer is only player with more wins (272)
  • Playing in first hard court final since losing to Djokovic in the final at the Australian Open last year. Has lost last six hard court finals since title in Tokyo on Oct. 10, 2010 (d. Monfils). His last hard court ATP Masters 1000 final was in Cincinnati in August 2011 (l. to Djokovic)
  • Playing in his fourth final of the year (2-1) and last year reached five ATP World Tour finals (4-1 in finals, 4-0 on clay)
  • On his return from left knee injury, after a seven-month absence, the Spaniard reached the Vina del Mar final, lost to Zeballos in three sets, final lasted 2 hrs, 47 mins; broke a 15-match clay winning streak (dating back to May 2012, l. to Verdasco at ATP Masters 1000 Madrid). In doubles (w/Monaco) reached final (l. to Lorenzi-Starace)
  • At Sao Paulo captured title (d. Nalbandian), it was his first title since winning at Roland Garros (d. Djokovic) last year
  • Has a career record of 102-51 (3-0 in 2013) vs Top 10 opponents. Has won 12 straight matches since last loss to No. 3 Federer here in SF last year. Also career 55-31 (2-0 in 2013) vs Top 5 opponents

HARD COURT FINALS – Nadal’s last ATP World Tour hard court title was Oct. 10, 2010 in Tokyo (d. Monfils). Since then he’s been runner-up six times in hard court finals (falling four times to Djokovic).

DEL POTRO FASTFACTS

Tournament History:

  • The top Argentine comes into his first final with a 16-4 career record. Has lost two sets in five wins en route to the final. Opened with a 63 64 win over former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, then followed with victories over Germans Bjorn Phau 75 62 and No. 19 Tommy Haas 61 62, No. 3 Andy Murray 67 63 61, and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 46 64 64
  • His previous best result was the semi-finals two years ago (l. to No. 1 Nadal). Also QF in 2009 (l. to No. 1 Nadal) and last year (l. to No. 3 Federer)
  • Leads tournament in aces (32) and has won 49 of 56 service games (88%), saving 15 of 22 break points (68%) Has won 22 of 56 return games (39%), converting 22 of 53 break pts. (42%)
    He is the second Argentine to reach the final in tournament history. Guillermo Vilas was runner-up in 1977 (l. to Brian Gottfried) in nearby Palm Springs. The lone South American winner here was Chilean Marcelo Rios in 1998 (d. Rusedski)

2013 Highlights:

W: Rotterdam (d Benneteau); SF: Dubai (l Djokovic); QF: Marseille (l Simon)

2013 in Review:

  • The Tandil native enters his second ATP World Tour final of this season with a 16-3 match record. Last month in Rotterdam became first Argentine since Vilas in 1982 (d. Connors) to win title, beating Benneteau in straight sets
  • Reached SF at Dubai (l. to Djokovic), saved 3 MPs at 4-5 in third set vs. Baghdatis in Dubai 1R, winning 46 64 76(4)
  • Looking to become the fourth Argentine to win an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, the first since David Nalbandian in ’07 Paris (only South American to with this title, Marcelo Rios of Chile in 1998)
  • Contesting in his 20th career ATP World Tour level final, 14-5 (10-5 on hard) in finals (1-0 in 2013)
  • Playing in second career ATP Masters 1000 final (0-1) and lost in ‘09 Montreal (d. No. 2 Nadal in QF, No. 5 Roddick in SF,  l. to Murray in F)
  • Has career record of 30-52 (2-1 in 2013) vs Top 10 opponents, career 18-40 (2-1 in 2013) vs Top 5

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BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells

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