STOCKHOLM, October 22, 2017
Fourth seed Juan Martin del Potro defended his Intrum Stockholm Open title, defeating top seed and 2013 champion Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday’s final 6-4, 6-2.
The 29-year-old from Argentina saved all of the four break points he faced, converting three of his own to finish the encounter after one hour and 23 minutes. It is the Del Potro’s first title since he lifted the trophy in Sweden last year.
Not only did del Potro capture his 20th ATP World Tour title, but he launched himself into contention in the Emirates ATP Race To London. The 29-year-old will move up to 14th in the Race with 2,135 points, 470 points behind Pablo Carreno Busta, who currently occupies the final qualifying spot.
“I played the best match of the week against Grigor today… It’s amazing to come back and hold this big trophy. And hopefully I can come next year as well. I love to be in Stockholm. I like the city a lot. I like the Swedish people and you treated me very, very good this week and I would like to thank everyone,” told Del Potro, who extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead against Dimitrov to 6-2.
“In the final you must play perfect and I played a very good match.”
It was still a strong effort for Dimitrov in Stockholm, who is fifth in the Race standings, next in line to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 12-19 November at The O2 in London, with 3,560 points. Dimitrov is looking to make his debut at the prestigious tournament.
“I couldn’t have lost to a better gentleman on and off the court. Juan, congrats…you’ve been playing great the whole year, quite a few battles and wishing you the best of luck for the rest of the season… Unfortunately I couldn’t bring a lot more fight today. But again, Juan totally deserved it,” Dimitrov said.
Marach/Pavic Win Doubles Title
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic picked up crucial points in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London with their first ATP World Tour team title.
The Austrian/Croatian pairing had fallen in their three prior finals, all this season and all on grass, but emerged victorious in Stockholm against Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 3-6, 7-6, 10-4. The final lasted one hour and 36 minutes.
Marach/Pavic will gain 100 more points in the London standings, pushing them to within 100 of eighth-placed Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, who hold the lone remaining qualification spot.
“It was a high-level doubles match. They played great. We had to come up with some very good shots. Luck was on our side in the second and in the [Match] Tie-break. But doubles sometimes it’s just about two or three points and today we were the luckier ones,” Marach said.
“We’ve played four [finals]… and finally we won it,” Pavic was pleased.