Webber breaks the monotony
Australian Mark Webber led a Red Bull front row sweep on Saturday and denied team mate and Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel a fifth successive Japanese Grand Prix pole position. Vettel, who can clinch his fourth successive world title at the age of 26 on Sunday if he wins and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finishes lower than eighth, had problems with his car's kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and had to settle for second.
Webber's 12th career pole also ended a run of three poles in three races for Vettel, who has won at Suzuka three times in the last four years. Saturday might be as good as it gets for the Australian but he was not about to roll over without a fight. The German, out-qualified by Webber for the first time this season, will still be favourite to win given the championship situation, and the likelihood of team orders. Alonso, 77 points behind Vettel with five races remaining, qualified only eighth on a sunny afternoon at the Honda-owned figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit. reuters
Shanghai: World number one Rafael Nadal was dumped out of the Shanghai Masters today by inspired Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who blew the Spaniard away with a relentless display of brutal hitting to set up a final against Novak Djokovic. The giant Del Potro, fresh from winning the Japan Open, went into the semi-final at the Qizhong Tennis Center trailing 8-3 in head-to-heads, but rocked Nadal with a double break in the first set and kept up the pressure to win 6-2, 6-4.
Earlier, top seed Djokovic swept aside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 7-5 to earn the chance to defend his title. Nadal has enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, winning 10 titles including the French Open and the US Open.