Del Potro rightful winner of anniversary edition
When you host an anniversary edition you hope for a big winner. Juan Martin del Potro is literally a big winner. The almost two meter long Argentinean is the only player outside the top four who in the past eight years won a Grand Slam tournament. In the final of the 40th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament he defeated Julien Benneteau: 7-6 (2), 6-3.
The name of Del Potro can proudly be painted on the gallery of champions on the first ring in Ahoy Rotterdam. The winner of the U.S. Open 2009, now number seven of the world, is the first Argentinean player to win the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament after legendary Guillermo Vilas did so in 1982.
In the matches leading up to the final Del Potro wasn’t broken and eliminated nine breakpoints, but in Sunday’s match that record didn’t hold long. In the second game Benneteau, who in the quarter-final knocked crowd favourite Roger Federer out of the tournament, seized his first break opportunity. Del Potro recovered immediately and also took a break on the Frenchman.
Benneteau, who played smart and good, refused to surrender and fought back to 5-5. In the tiebreak he played a few unlucky points and Del Potro made him pay immediately. After winning the first set the Argentinean quickly took a 5-2 lead, but forget to utilize three match points. After Del Potro dealt with a spontaneous nosebleed he finished off the job in his own service game.
With his 24 years, his sledgehammer forehand, his fierce full service and his - for a tall player - excellent footwork, Del Potro is the number one candidate to launch an attack on the top four players of the world: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal. Hopefully he will return Rotterdam many more times in the future.