Argentine teenager Juan Martin Del Potro claimed his fourth straight ATP title by beating Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-3 in the finals at the Legg Mason Classic. Seeded second Del Potro was the overwhelming favorite, but Troicki who ousted Andy Roddick, the top seed, in the quarterfinals proved to be a formidable challenger.
Del Potro early on showed signs of nervousness allowing Troicki to break and lead 3-1. Yet, despite not being in peak form, Juan Martin’s recent triumphs clearly have imbued him with confidence. Del Potro picked on Troicki’s poorer shot, the forehand, and with his crafty play and acute angles obtained two consecutive breaks to win the first set 6-3.
At the start of the second set, Troicki tried his best to pressure his opponent. The Serbian’s best opportunity to turn the match around came at 3-3 when he had double break point. But Del Portro’s ability to hit with depth and power was too much for Troicki. After failing to convert his break points, a deflated Troicki went on to lose his serve to give Del Potro a 5-3 lead. Still as Juan Martin served for the match, Viktor demonstrated that he was a tough rival to put down. The Argentine dismissed three break points and finally on championship point number four served an ace to close the deal.
Russian Nadia Petrova captured her first title of the year by crushing France’s Nathalie Dechy in the finals 6-2, 6-1 at the Western and Southern Financial Group women’s open in Cincinnati, a tier III event. Former world number one, Amelie Mauresmo also had a good run making it to the semifinals where she succumbed to compatriot Dechy in three sets.
The women and men will play this week at the Pilot Pen tournament where Del Potro will attempt to extend his 20 match winning streak and possibly become the winner of the U.S. Open series whereby he would be eligible for bonus money at the U.S. Open should he reach the finals. Russian Anna Chakvetadze, who has had a disappointing year thus far, will head the women’s field.