• ATP Tour

Federer bags his first title of 2012

ESPN staff
February 19, 2012
Roger Federer raced into a 5-0 lead in the match, and never looked back © Getty Images

Roger Federer claimed his first title of 2012 by beating Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

World No. 3 Federer needed one hour and 26 minutes to close out a 6-1 6-4 triumph, improving his record against Del Potro to nine wins from 11 meetings.

In Del Potro's most significant final since returning from his wrist injury lay-off at the end of 2010, he was never really in the contest - apart from a brief flurry at the start of the second frame.

Federer made a slow start against Nikolay Davydenko in his semi-final - rallying back from 6-4 3-1 down to triumph - but there was no repeat against Del Potro as he stormed through the first set. Del Potro's serve had looked formidable throughout the tournament, yet Federer managed to make inroads with some punishing returns, converting both of the break points he was offered.

Del Potro found a foothold when he moved 2-1 up in the second - only for Federer to reassert his dominance by snatching five of the next seven games. It was a classic example of Federer using all his experience to ride out potentially difficult spells in the match: he saved five break points, and punctured the Del Potro serve on one decisive occasion.

Meanwhile, the Brasil Open was won by Nicolas Almagro, who defeated Filippo Volandri 6-3 4-6 6-4 in Sunday's final. While at the SAP Open in San Jose, third seed Milos Raonic proved too strong for Denis Istomin, winning the final 7-6(3) 6-2.

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