Del Potro Defeats Zemlja to Claim Vienna Championship

by John on October 21, 2012

Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina defeated Slovenian qualifier Grega Zemlja 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna this afternoon. Zemlja, an unlikely finalist, ranked No. 70 in the world, had knocked off No. 3 seed Tommy Haas in the quarterfinals and No. 2 seed Janko Tipsarevic in the semifinals en route to the championship match. Del Potro was almost eliminated in his opening match on Wednesday, surviving 32 aces from German qualifier Daniel Brands to prevail in a gripping three-set marathon. The title was Del Potro’s third of the year and 12th of his career, and provided valuable points in his bid to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals. Coming into the tournament, Del Potro stood at No. 7 in the eight-man race to London. Zemlja was appearing in his first tour-level final and performed well. Both players struggled to hold serve for much of the opening set. Del Potro faced a break point in the first game, but erased it to hold. In the fifth game, Zemlja broke Delpo to become the first player to win a game on the Argentine’s serve in the tournament. Zemlja extended his lead to 4-2, but was broken in the eighth game to knot the match at 4-4. Del Potro saved three break points in the ninth game and broke again in the 12th game to clinch the first set in 64 minutes. The second set was pretty much of a cakewalk for the 6-foot-6 Argentine. Delpo opened with a routine service hold and then broke immediately for a 2-0 lead. Service prevailed the rest of the way, with the Argentine closing it out in one hour and 41 minutes. “I didn’t have a very good start to the match. I made a lot of errors and I was nervous because it was a final,” Del Potro said. “I tried to find a way to play aggressive. In the second set, I broke early and that gave me confidence to play the final like I was expected. I was a little lucky to survive from 2-4 down in the first set.” Del Potro served 10 aces and won 82 percent of the points on his first serve. “I am satisfied with the way I played. I did my best,” Zemlja said. “I felt I played really well the first seven games. Maybe I wasn’t serving my best, but I was fighting till the end. I think Juan played really well from 4-4 (in the first set), to 3-0 (in the second set). He was serving really good.”


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