Del Potro Ends Title Drought In Stockholm

Argentine downs Sock

Juan Martin del Potro ended a 33-month drought in style, racing to the finish 7-5, 6-1 against Jack Sock at the If Stockholm Open on Sunday. The Argentine’s most recent tour-level crown had come against Bernard Tomic in Sydney at the start of the 2014 season. He now owns 19 tour-level titles.

“I’ve been trying to fix my problems for the past two years and I didn’t expect to win a title at this moment in my career,” del Potro said. “I am so happy to get the trophy here. It’s motivation for looking forward to the future.

“I don’t really mind the rankings or the numbers. I just want to play better. When I’m 100 per cent I know I can be dangerous.”

Del Potro had come a long way back since battling wrist problems in past years, but won the Stockholm title going away. He won the title without dropping a set and was broken just twice the entire week, both times against Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals. In the final, del Potro did not face a break point and broke serve four times.

Sock, the new American No. 1, was on court for three hours more than del Potro entering the final. Sock also needed to recover from a titanic battle against #NextGen star Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals, which he won 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-4 after two hours and 50 minutes.

Both players held serve until 5-5 of the opening set, when del Potro raised his game to emerge with a one-set lead. Sock’s fatigue appeared to get the better of him thereafter, as the American only held serve once and won just two points when returning the del Potro serve to succumb in 80 minutes.

With brothers Elias Ymer and Mikael Ymer taking the Stockholm doubles title, it marked the first time unseeded wild cards had won both the singles and doubles crowns at the same tournament since Newport in 2006. Mark Philippoussis won the singles title and Robert Kendrick/Jurgen Melzer claimed the doubles. 

"It was a tough match," said Sock, who requested the trainer midway through the match to receive treatment for arm pain. "His serve is massive and very tough to read, which put more pressure on my serve. He just played well today. I've had a long week here and it might have caught up with me a bit."

Del Potro, who improved to 28-11 on the year, received 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €100,800. Sock, who also made the final last year, will take home 150 points and €53,085.

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