‘No fire’: Ailing del Potro suffers shock Beijing final loss

Juan Martín del Potro lost in the China Open final. (AFP pic)

BEIJING: Juan Martín del Potro said that he was battling illness after he suffered a shock defeat in the China Open final on Sunday, losing 6-4, 6-4 to unseeded Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.

Argentine top seed del Potro was clearly far from his best and has been sick for several days.

The world number four said that he did his best in difficult circumstances.

“I did everything that I can to be better for the final – it wasn’t enough time to feel 100%,” the 30-year-old said.

“As you can see, my game today wasn’t as good as it was in the last matches in the tournament. I had some problem the last three days and it affected a little bit my game.”

Del Potro, who reached last month’s US Open final and is enjoying one of the best seasons of his injury-interrupted career, is now in a race to be better for this week’s Shanghai Masters.

“I wasn’t able to play with that fire that I have in all my matches,” del Potro added, saying however that 34th-ranked Basilashvili “played unbelievable”.

It is only the second title of 26-year-old Basilashvili’s career, having won his maiden ATP title in Hamburg in July.