(October 6, 2013) A late entry into the event, No.1 seed Juan Martin del Potro won the Japan Open Tennis Championships title for the first time taking out Milos Raonic 7-6 (5), 7-5 for his third title of the year, 16th in his career.
There was only one break of serve in the match coming at 5-5 in the second set for Del Potro to go up 6-5 and served out the match.
“I played really well in the last two games of the match, returning all of his first serves,” said Del Potro. “It was a fantastic week for me as I played better and better with each match.”
Del Potro said that it was not easy returning Raonic’s powerful serve: “You have to be focused and wait for the chance. I took his serve in the last game to break. In the tie-break, he hit a double fault in the most important part of the match and then my chance came, which I knew I had to take.
“I did what I could to win. When he serves well and hits aces, it means I have to be aggressive on serve. I threw in drop shots and came to the net to mix up my game.”
“There is not really much to be down about,” Raonic said of the match. “I created opportunities and barring a double fault and a few points I could not have done much better.
“I think I am doing a lot of things better week in, week out. I can play a good level, but I just need to improve on a consistent basis. There is work to be done.”
“I decided to come here because I lost early in the U.S. Open and had several weeks off,” said Del Potro who took a wild card into the tournament. “I’m glad I decided to come here.”
For his efforts the Argentine will move up to No. 5 in the Race to London for the year-end ATP World Tour Finals. The Canadian Raonic will move up to No. 10 in the Race to London.