Del Potro tops Benneteau for Rotterdam crown

Updated: February 17, 2013

Juan Martin del Potro earned his 14th career title and kept Julien Benneteau winless in ATP finals with a straight-set victory Sunday in the championship match at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

The second-seeded del Potro posted a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 triumph Sunday for his first title of 2013. He won four times last year and was the runner-up just once, falling to Roger Federer in this event.

Benneteau, meanwhile, came up short in a final for the eighth time in as many tries. The Frenchman was denied twice last year and has lost a title match at least once each year since 2008.

After del Potro had his serve broken for the first time this week in the second game of the match, the Argentine star rebounded by taking the next four games. Benneteau broke back in the 10th game and forced a tiebreak, which del Potro won with ease.

He carried that momentum into the second set and opened a 3-0 lead with a break of serve and never relinquished the advantage, concluding the match in an hour and 37 minutes. A nose bleed forced del Potro to take a brief medical timeout between the eighth and ninth games before he served out the match at love.

Del Potro improved to 14-5 all-time in title matches and became the first Argentine to win in Rotterdam since Guillermo Vilas in 1982.

Benneteau, who stunned Federer in Friday’s quarterfinals, has the most finals appearances without a title among active players. Gilles Muller is next with three.