Del Potro triumphs in Estoril

2012-05-06 18:44

Estoril - Top seed Juan Martin del Potro retained his title here at the Estoril Open on Sunday after inflicting a 6-4, 6-2 defeat on second seed Richard Gasquet.

The Argentine world No 12 became the third man in the tournament's history to win the clay title in successive years, following in the footsteps of Thomas Muster (1995-1996) and Albert Montanes (2009-2010).

It was also Del Potro's second title of the season after his victory in Marseille in February, and his 11th of a career which includes a US Open success in 2009.

The loss left the Frenchman still looking for his first ATP trophy since triumphing in Nice in May, 2010.

The final was played in sunny conditions after wind and rain affected the early days of the event at the Estadio Nacional.

Del Potro broke to love in the first game to set the tone, but Gasquet put up a fight throughout an opening set which lasted 54 minutes.

The Frenchman, renowned for his flawless one-handed backhand, saved break points in the fifth and seventh games before his South American opponent sealed the set with a concluding break.

Del Potro then began the second set with a break and turned up the pressure to run out the winner with six aces and three breaks of serve in just under 90 minutes on court.

The Argentine did win a pair of David Cup rubbers on clay against Croatia six weeks ago but he will still be delighted to triumph in what was his first tour clay event of the season after he chose to skip Monte Carlo and train at home.

He has now appeared in four finals on clay in his career and won the lot while Gasquet missed the chance to become the first from France to win the Portuguese title since the event began in 1990.

He also lost the 2007 final to a then up-and-coming Novak Djokovic.