Del Potro thumps Berdych to reach Rotterdam final|
Rotterdam, Netherlands (Sports Network) - Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina
advanced to the title match at the ABN AMRO World tournament after a thorough
beating of Tomas Berdych in the first of Saturday's semifinals.
The third-seeded del Potro needed just 75 minutes in a 6-3, 6-1 rout. He has
dropped just five games in his last two matches and will face the winner
between Swiss superstar Roger Federer and Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko in
Berdych had lost just once this season entering Saturday's match. After a
quarterfinal setback to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, he won the title
in Montpellier two weeks ago and last week won his lone match in the Czech
Republic's victory over Italy in the Davis Cup.
Seeded second this week, Berdych had also steamrolled through his first three
opponents without dropping a set. It all changed on Saturday.
Del Potro opened the match with a break of serve and didn't face a break point
during the first set. Berdych, meanwhile, struggled with his serve, connecting
on just 52 percent in the first set. He was called for a foot fault for a
double fault to set up del Potro's clinching break point to finish off the
Again, del Potro picked up an early break in the second set for a 2-0 edge.
But Berdych won three of the first four points in the next game to gain two
break points. He squandered both and del Potro's ace closed out the game for a
Berdych appeared deflated afterward, again dropping his serve. He went down
0-5 before finally winning a game, but del Potro quickly wrapped it up and
improved to 3-1 lifetime against Berdych.
Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champ, will be gunning for his 10th career title
on Sunday. He is 9-4 all-time in finals, including 2-1 last year when he made
a successful comeback from a wrist injury that sidelined him for most of the
Federer won the Rotterdam title the last time he appeared in the tournament,
back in 2005. He beat Davydenko in the quarterfinals that year and owns a 16-2
lifetime mark against the Russian, including a win earlier this year in Doha.
The 2012 Rotterdam winner will collect $385,000.
02/18 10:18:34 ET