Federer picks up first title of the year

Roger Federer knocked off Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the ABN Amro World Tennis event to pick up his first victory of the year.



ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Roger Federer defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 6-4 Sunday to win the ABN Amro World Tennis for his first title of the year.

The top-seeded Federer jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first set, with Del Potro making uncharacteristic errors. Del Potro, who beat Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final, took a 2-1 lead in the second set before Federer won five of the next seven games to close the match.

“For me, it all began in 1999 when I reached the quarterfinals here,” Federer said. “Even now, the expectations were high throughout the tournament. I am happy I was able to fulfill the expectations.”

The Swiss star was making his first appearance in Rotterdam since winning the 2005 title. Del Potro, seeded third, was playing in the tournament for the first time.

Del Potro won just seven points on his serve in the first set. While the Argentine’s game improved in the second, he couldn’t find a way to beat Federer on the key points.

Federer, who beat Nikolay Davydenko in the semifinals, took a 4-2 lead before serving out the match to win his 71st career title. He saved all seven break points he faced and broke Del Potro three times.

“I have managed to restore my rhythm,” Federer said. “The match against Davydenko was a good warmup for the match against Del Potro.”


QATAR OPEN: In Doha, Qatar, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka shook off a lingering ankle injury to win the Qatar Open, routing Sam Stosur 6-1, 6-2.

This was Azarenka’s 17th consecutive victory and her first title since becoming No. 1 after winning the Australian Open.

Azarenka showed no ill effects after twisting her right ankle in the semifinal against Agnieszka Radwanska on Saturday.

She broke the third-seeded Stosur twice to lead 4-1 in the first set, making a brief trip to the net to clinch it with a backhand volley. Azarenka was on her way to victory after winning the first three games of the second set.


COPA BBVA COLSANITAS: In Bogota, Colombia, Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino won her first WTA title by defeating Alexandra Panova of Russia 6-2, 7-5 Sunday in the final of the Copa BBVA Colsanitas.

The 19-year-old Arruabarrena-Vecino becomes the latest in a long line of Spanish players to dominate the tournament on red clay.


BRAZIL OPEN: In Sao Paulo, Nicolas Almagro won the Brazil Open for the third time Sunday, defeating Filippo Volandri 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.