Del Potro triumphs in Delray
Juan Martin Del Potro (AP)
Delray Beach - Juan Martin del Potro won his first title since his 2009 US Open triumph on Sunday, beating Janko Tipsarevic in the final of the $442 500 Delray Beach International Championships.
Argentina's Del Potro defeated the sixth-seeded Serbian 6-4, 6-4 to pass another milestone in his injury comeback.
A former world number four, Del Potro saw his 2010 campaign derailed by a right wrist injury that required surgery and limited him to just three tournaments.
He needed one hour 54 minutes to fashion the victory, and left Tipsarevic still seeking a first career ATP title.
Del Potro had been building toward the victory, having reached back-to-back semi-finals in San Jose and Memphis the past two weeks.
The Argentinian, who admitted he was tired after his semi-final victory over second-seeded Mardy Fish, quickly fell behind 1-4 in the first set.
He rallied, and saved five break points in the 10th game as claimed the first frame on his third set point.
"Janko had the control in the first set, but I was focused on my serve because it was only a break," he said. "If I get a break soon, maybe I can come back to fight that set, and that's what happened.
"I served very bad at 5-4, he had the opportunity to break my serve, but I improved a little bit my game, my forehand started to work. That helped me to close the set."
Del Potro broke Tipsarevic for a 3-2 lead in the second, then fended off three break points in the next game. Overall he saved 10 of 11 break points that he faced in the contest.
Tipsarevic could only regret the missed opportunities that prevented him from breaking through for a first title after runner-up finishes in his only two prior trips to a final - at Moscow in 2009 and 's-Hertogenbosch in 2010.
"All the factors were going my way today to win," Tipsarevic said, noting that he was more used to the mid-day conditions than del Potro, who played his earlier matches at night.
"You could see that in the middle of the first set that he picked up, but it was a tough match. We played almost two hours, two sets, but I really didn't use my chances," Tipsarevic said.
The victory will boost Del Potro back into the top 100 for the first time since November.
In a three-week span he will have risen from 484th to 85th.