Monday October 22, 2012
Del Potro eases to third title of season
VIENNA: Juan Martin del Potro defeated Slovenian qualifier Grega Zemlja 7-5, 6-3 yesterday to win his first title at the Austrian Open and improve his standing in the race to the year-end championships.
The Argentine top seed made a triumphant comeback from one month away with a left wrist injury as he spent more than an hour winning the first set against the world No. 70 playing in the first final of his career.
“I played a great match, it was really difficult in front of such a big stadium filled with people,” said the winner. “It was very emotional for me, it felt super.
“It was a tough match against a good player and it came down to the better serve.”
Del Potro’s win yesterday was his 57th of the season against 14 losses.
It took just over half that time to finish the job on a first match point after one hour 41 minutes.
Del Potro added Vienna to trophies claimed this season in Marseille and Estoril.
In the semi-finals, the Argentina’s Del Potro reached his second consecutive final after edging Gilles Muller 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) in a duel which featured 33 aces.
Del Potro stands provisional seventh in the points race for one of three remaining positions in the ATP World Tour Finals starting on Nov 5.
The South American claimed his title in Vienna on his third try after losing the 2011 final and going out in the second round in his 2008 debut.
Zemlja set a number of personal bests this week including his first top 20 win, over Tommy Haas in the quarters, and first top 10 win, over Janko Tipsarevic in the semi-finals, and his best-ever performance at an ATP event.
In the semi-finals, he stunned Serbian second seed 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 — AFP