BNP Paribas Open 2013: Nadal-Del Potro, Sharapova-Wozniacki meet in finals

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Nadal has come back strong after a knee injury, while Maria Sharapova looks to win her first tournament of 2013.

Juan Martin Del Potro had to beat the No. 1 player in the world to get to the finals of the BNP Paribas Open. Now, he has to beat the player who's arguably playing the best right now, Rafael Nadal.

Nadal hasn't skipped a beat after returning from a leg injury that bothered him towards the end of last year, an ailment that kept him out of the U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open. Since returning, the 11-time Grand Slam winner made it to the finals of all four events he's participated in, winning in Acapulco and Sao Paolo, and losing only one match, in the finals of a tournament in Chile in early February. After being pushed to a third set by Ryan Harrison and Ernests Gulbis earlier in the tournament, he handled No. 2 Roger Federer and No. 6 Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

Now, he faces Del Potro, a player he's had success against. The Argentine beat Andy Murray in the quarterfinals and No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, but he's lost seven of ten against Nadal, including four straight, a streak that dates back to the semifinals of the 2009 US Open - his greatest career achievement and only Grand Slam victory. However, he had also lost seven of ten against Djokovic before Saturday. That doesn't include a game played indoors at Madison Square Garden, which Del Potro won in a semi-competitive atmosphere. It's an interesting matchup, with Del Potro banking on his powerful serve and Nadal much better off the return.

On the women's side, Maria Sharapova matches up with Caroline Wozniacki. Sharapova has had Wozniacki's number and should be favored as she's the No. 2 player in the world while Wozniacki will rise to No. 9 with her finals appearance. Sharapova owns the head-to-head, but Wozniacki dominated the only time they played at Indian Wells, winning 6-1, 6-2.

Here is Sunday's schedule:

-- [8] Caroline Wozniacki vs. [2] Maria Sharapova, 3 p.m. ET

-- [7] Juan Martin Del Potro vs. [5] Rafael Nadal, not before 5 p.m. ET

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