ROTTERDAM (Feb. 17, 2013) — Juan Martin del Potro came out the victor at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament today, earning his 14th career title by defeating Julien Benneteau, 7-6(2), 6-3.
“I cannot believe I’ve won”, stated the Argentine in his final press conference. “I’m so happy. Before I came to Rotterdam, I saw all the big names on the participants list. I did not dare to think that I would leave with the title, but I’ve played well from the first round. And that was really necessary.”
As the first set went to a tiebreak, both players had their chance, but experience won over as Del Potro kept his cool to seal the first set. “It cost me so much energy to keep up,” stated Benneteau. “In almost all of my service games Del Potro got break points. Given the intensity of the game it was very difficult to stay fresh. In the tie-break I gave away some points too easy.”
Del Potro also paid respect to the Frechman’s game and perseverance: ”Julien was giving me a hard time. He had an excellent game plan, played every point aggressive and continued fighting until the end. He made me do a lot of running and I don’t like that. Benneteau earned to play this final.”
In the doubles final, the team of Robert Lindstedt and Nenad Zimonjic overcame crowd favorites Thiemo De Bakker and Jesse Huta Galung, 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.
“It’s always great to win your first title [as a team],” stated Zimonjic. “This is our fourth tournament of the year and we were definitely struggling. The beginning of the week was really tough and we were lucky at times. We managed to play better and better.”
(Full gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Rick Gleijm.)