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Federer Eclipses Del Potro in Rotterdam Final

The Dutch crowd waited seven years for Roger Federer to defend his 2005 title and he did not disappoint. In the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final, Federer dispatched Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1, 6-4 to secure his maiden trophy of the season.

After escaping in three sets in the semifinals against Nikolay Davydenko, Federer knew he had to be sharp from the start in facing Del Potro. The Swiss maestro brought his best stuff from the outset.

Subsequent to erasing two break points to hold in the opening game, Federer manufactured a break point of his own with a forehand volley winner. Then, with another forehand winner, Federer captured the break.

Next, after consolidating, Federer arrived at double break point. By thumping a forehand up the line pass for a winner, Federer secured a double break advantage against Del Potro at 4-0. Using his all court game, Federer comfortably pocketed the initial set 6-1.

In the second set, Del Potro did his utmost to push his rival. With Federer sending a forehand long, Del Potro had break point. Again, Federer found the right combination of shots to level play at 2 all.

Just as in the first set, after the Argentine failed to capitalize on break point, Federer pounced. With Del Potro’s forehand crosscourt sailing wide, Federer had break point. Later, with forehand crosscourt pass winner, Federer sealed the break and a 3-2 lead.

Soon though, Del Potro had two break points to get back on even term. However, he could not convert. Consequently, Federer stretched his edge to 4-2.

By keeping the deficit at one break, Del Potro had double break point courtesy of a Federer double fault. Once more, Federer wiped those out as a result of winners and by forcing errors from his counterpart to get to 5-3.

After wasting two match points on Del Potro’s serve, Federer arrived at double match points on his own. He closed out the championship with a forehand volley winner.

Subsequent to dismantling second seed Tomas Berdych in the semifinals, Del Potro came into the final with high expectations. The Argentine’s futility on seven break point opportunities made it tougher for him this afternoon. Since the wrist surgery, Del Potro has gone down to Federer in straight sets in their three meetings.

After congratulating Federer, Del Potro thanked the public for making him feel welcomed his first time at this tournament. Del Potro said “I enjoyed my matches, the week and hopefully I can be back next year if you like” with that came a huge round of applause. Judging from that response, Del Potro has a spot in 2013 should he decide to play.

Federer was happy to seize his 71st career title and claimed that he has always been fond of this venue “I have great memories from 1999 the first time I came here. . . It’s a great event”.

It seemed incredible to Federer that so many years had gone by since he last played in Rotterdam. Jokingly, Federer cited if it takes him seven years more to come back “that means I’m playing another seven years which is not a bad thing”.

Nathalie Narcisse

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