Del Potro surprises Gasquet at Mercedes Cup final
Stuttgart, Germany (Sports Network) - Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina made his first career ATP singles final a successful one, surprising second-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet with a straight-set victory to capture the Mercedes Cup title.
Del Potro posted a 6-4, 7-5 triumph on Sunday. The 19-year-old's previous best finish was a pair of semifinal appearances. He lost to David Ferrer in the semis at the Wimbledon tuneup in the Netherlands last month, and also reached the semifinals in Adelaide last year.
"It's like a dream for me," said del Potro. "I hope to win more titles in my career, but the first one, I think is the most important. It was very tough because it was my first final. Now I have to go step-by-step and have to savor this moment."
Gasquet was playing in his first final of the year and the 11th of his career. He fell to 5-6 in title matches and hasn't won a tournament since last September in Mumbai.
"I played not my best match," stated Gasquet. "I was frustrated because I was playing badly, but he played well. It's his first title so it's important for him."
Both players struggled with their serve on Sunday, as del Potro connected on just 58 percent of his first serves and Gasquet finished at 57 percent. Del Potro, though, broke serve twice in each set, while Gasquet managed one break in each set.
Del Potro earned a first prize of $185,000 and evened the all-time series against Gasquet at one match apiece.