Tsonga beats Del Potro in Vienna final
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought back from a set and a break down to defeat Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in the final of the Austrian Open on Sunday, moving closer to a place in the season-ending World Tour finals in London next month.
AFP - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga laid on another late finishing surge, with his dangerous just-in-time habit paying off with a 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday and a trophy at the Austrian Open.
Besides becoming the first Frenchman to lift the title in the Austrian capital, Tsonga will now leapfrog American Mardy Fish into seventh place in the race for the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals to be staged in London November 20-27.
The top-seeded Tsonga made the most of his Vienna debut with a comeback victory which required two hours and 29 minutes. He trailed a set and a break in a match in which he fired 25 aces and ended it with a winning forehand volley which caught his second-seeded opponent off-balance.
The win was the first of his career win over Del Potro after losing three previous matches in their series.
Del Potro's mind is preoccupied not only with a possible year-end finals place - he remains on provisional 11th and will lift his ATP ranking from 15th to 11th on Monday - but the December Davis Cup final in Seville against Spain.
"It was really tough," said Tsgona, winner of a second title in 2011 after claiming Metz honours in September.
"Juan Martin played great until in the second set. I was down a bit after losing (another) first set in the tiebreaker.
"But I fought on and didn't give away any easy points after that."
After losing the 63-minute first set, Tsonga proceeded to get his game together with two breaks of Del Potro in the second set and another in the third which gave him a 4-3 lead
The angry Argentine let fly with a vicious kick to his racquet bag as his chances began to slip away.
Tsonga took full advantage, firing his 25th ace to notch a 5-3 lead and finishing two games later with the match-winner.
The Frenchman will play as second seed next week in Valencia, where Del Potro is also in the field.
Del Potro is also in the chase for London, with outside chances as he stands 11th.
The 2009 US Open winner will also see his ranking rise to 11th as well after standing 484 in February as he came back from 2010 wrist surgery.
"I really wanted to win this final," said the 23-year-old. "But Jo was so good on serve today. I had hoped to win a title, it always means a lot when you are coming back.
I'm getting closer to my best level, but I need to build confidence."
Del Potro stands 9-4 in career finals after winning Delray and Estoril this season, he has never claimed an indoor title and was playing for a trophy under a roof for the first time in two years when he lost the year-end event to Nikolay Davydenko.