ESTORIL OPEN 2012
Del Potro Eyes Second Straight Estoril Title; Gasquet Returns To Final
by ATP Staff|
Top-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro will attempt to clinch a second straight Estoril Open title on Sunday after second seed Richard Gasquet of France. Del Potro leads Gasquet 3-1 in their FedEx ATP Head 2 Head series.
Del Potro reached his third ATP World Tour final of the season in near darkness on Saturday, when he completed a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over third seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, in 93 minutes, at 8:45 p.m. local time.
Wawrinka saved four match points from 3-5, 0/40. Eight minutes later, del Potro completed his 26th match win of the year (26-6 overall). He had broken Wawrinka just once in seven opportunities.
World No. 12 del Potro lifted his 10th ATP World Tour title at Marseille (d. Llodra) in February. He also finished runner-up to Roger Federer at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Wawrinka, now 15-8 on the year, has not won a title (or reached a final) since January 2011 at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Malisse).
Gasquet advanced to the Estoril Open for the second time Saturday. The second seed, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2007 title match, worked hard for a 2-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 victory over fourth-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos in three hours and three minutes. Both players hit five aces, but Gasquet won 63 per cent of his service points and converted three of his eight break point opportunities.
Gasquet, who last picked up an ATP World Tour title in May 2012 at the Open de Nice Côte d'Azur (d. Verdasco), has a 6-8 record in finals. He has a 14-8 season record.
Ramos, 24, advanced to the Grand Prix Hassan II final in Casablanca two weeks ago (l. to Andujar). He drops to an 18-13 record (13-7 on clay) this year.
For the first time in Estoril Open history (since 1990) the top four seeds made it to the semi-finals.