Del Potro Reaches First ATP World Tour Final Of Season
Argentine will face Sock in final
Juan Martin del Potro will play in his first ATP World Tour final since January 2014 at the If Stockholm Open on Sunday. The Argentine delivered more powerful serving and laser-like forehands to advance past second seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday in Sweden.
The 6'6” right-hander last played in an ATP World Tour final almost three years ago in Sydney. He was the top seed Down Under and beat home favourite Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-1 in the final. The Tandil native will go for a similar result on Sunday when he faces American Jack Sock, who outlasted #NextGen star Alexander Zverev 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-4.
Win or lose in the final, del Potro has already enjoyed another successful week during his comeback season of 2016. The Argentine, who is one of four players nominated for Comeback Player of the Year in the ATP World Tour Awards Presented By Moët & Chandon, was a wild-card entry into Stockholm. He had to dismiss two former Top 10 players – American John Isner and Spaniard Nicolas Almagro – as well as two-time 2016 ATP World Tour titlist Ivo Karlovic to reach the semi-finals. And del Potro did it all without dropping his serve (30/30).
That streak ended, however, against Dimitrov, who was trying to reach his fourth ATP World Tour final of the season. Serving at 3-2, 15/40 in the first set, del Potro netted a backhand to put the match back on serve, which Dimitrov celebrated with a “Come on!”
The joy was short-lived, though. During the very next game, Dimitrov fell behind 30/40 and couldn't handle a heavy forehand to his backhand corner. Del Potro would serve the set out to love.
The two exchanged breaks in the second set as well, but del Potro earned the final advantage. Facing a break point at 5-5, 30/40, Dimitrov double faulted and del Potro clinched the match on his serve after one hour and 42 minutes.
Del Potro, No. 63 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, won silver at the Rio Olympics in August after falling to Andy Murray in the final.