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Del Potro tops Llodra for Marseille crown



Marseille, France (Sports Network) - Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina earned a straight-set victory over France's Michael Llodra to claim the Open 13 tennis event.

The fourth-seeded del Potro broke serve once in each set for a 6-4, 6-4 win on Sunday, capturing his first title of 2012 and the 10th of his career. It was also the first indoor crown for the 2009 U.S. Open champ.

Del Potro improved to 10-5 lifetime in title matches and 1-1 this year. He was a 6-1, 6-4 loser to Roger Federer last Sunday in the Rotterdam final after also losing to the Swiss superstar in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

"When you win a title, it's special. You really have to celebrate it," said del Potro. "I think I am getting closer to the best players in the world. If I keep working, staying at this level, step by step, I'll get closer to the top players."

Llodra, the 2010 Marseille champ and 2009 runner-up, fell to 5-5 in finals. He hasn't won a title since claiming the Eastbourne crown two years ago.

Sunday's final was a rematch from the first round of last week's event in the Netherlands. Del Potro posted a 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 win in that one, but had a bit of an easier time this week.

The first break of serve came in the ninth game of the first set and it gave del Potro a 5-4 lead. He finished the set with an easy hold, then broke serve again for a 3-2 lead in the second set.

Del Potro did not face a single break point against his own serve during the 83-minute match and won 36-of-40 first-serve points. He improved to 3-0 lifetime against Llodra.

"He was impresive on his serve," Llodra said about del Potro. "I was a bit less strong with the most important parts of my game like my serve and my volley. He served well and we know the quality of his ground strokes so there wasn't much I could do. Therefore, I don't have any regrets. He was just better than me even though I kept fighting until the end."

Three of del Potro's victims this week were French, as he also took out 2009 champ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals and Richard Gasquet in the quarters.

02/26 13:13:35 ET

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