Djokovic reaches London final
Novak Djokovic fought back from a set down to defeat Juan Martin Del Potro and reach the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The world number one had looked in trouble when he went a break down in the second but Del Potro won only three of the last 14 games as Djokovic triumphed 4-6 6-3 6-2.
It is the first time the 2008 champion has reached the final since the tournament moved to the O2 Arena three years ago, and he will meet either Roger Federer or Andy Murray on Monday evening.
Djokovic was the only unbeaten player in the group stages and had had a day's rest, and he looked every inch the best player in the world in the early stages.
Del Potro was having to find some special shots just to stay on level terms, notably a forehand creamed down the line to save a break point in the second game.
Djokovic went into the match holding a 6-2 advantage over his opponent but Del Potro could look back on a victory in London earlier this summer that won him an Olympic bronze medal.
The Argentinian had joked that the semi-finals featured three big names and one big guy, but it was the big guy who was beginning to get on top in this one.
The sheer power of 6ft 6in Del Potro was pushing Djokovic to overhit and, although he saved a break point in the seventh game, he faced two more a couple of games later and this time Del Potro struck.
The 24-year-old then served out the set to love, and he kept the momentum going at the start of the second set.
Djokovic saved three break points in the opening game but he was under pressure all the time and he had no answer to another monstrous forehand from Del Potro in the third game, the Argentinian raising his fists in the air as he broke for 2-1.
It seemed to be getting away from Djokovic but he roused himself, taking his fourth chance to hit back immediately when Del Potro for once missed a forehand down the line.
And the Argentinian won only one more game in the set as Djokovic levelled up, breaking for the second time at 4-3.
The effort of the first set seemed to have taken a lot out of Del Potro and he looked distinctly weary as he was broken once more in the third game of the decider.
In contrast, Djokovic had a spring in his step again and the end was a swift in coming, the top seed clinching victory in two hours and 12 minutes.
Djokovic, who treated the world's media to chocolates at the end of his press conference, was happy with his level after recovering from the break in the second set.
He said: "I had a little, let's say, crisis in today's match from 4-4 first set to 2-2 in the second, where I didn't feel so good on the court.
"But I believed that I could come back. I believed that I could turn this match around in my favour, and I've done so. I've played, from that moment on, very flawless tennis. That makes me very happy and also confident before tomorrow's final."
The 25-year-old is now looking to end his season with a bang, saying: "It's my first final here in London.
"I'm really looking forward to it. It's already a great success. But knowing it's the last match of the season, I'm really going to try to give my best physically and mentally tomorrow to eventually try to get the trophy."
Del Potro appeared to run out of gas in the third set but he credited Djokovic with upping his game to turn the match around.
The Argentinian said: "I think nothing happened to me. It was just Nole improved his game in the middle of the second set until the end of the match. He deserved to win today. He made the difference."
Prior to Murray winning the US Open, Del Potro's victory in New York in 2009 had been the only grand slam title not won by Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal since the 2005 Australian Open.
And the 24-year-old, who missed nearly all of 2010 with a wrist injury, has set his sights on getting back amongst things at the majors in 2013.
He said: "I beat Roger yesterday, I was close to beating Nole today. But, in the end, they are too good for me.
"But I'm getting closer every day. Maybe it could be my big challenge for next year, my big goal, trying to fight for all the grand slams with this group."