Top-seeded Del Potro, Zemlja reach final at Vienna

Associated Press Modified: October 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm •  Published: October 20, 2012
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VIENNA (AP) — Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and qualifier Grega Zemlja advanced to the final of the Erste Bank Open on Saturday.

Del Potro, a runner-up last year, defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) to reach his fourth final of the year, while Zemlja rallied to stun second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 for his first career final.

The 70th-ranked Zemlja was 0-4 against top-10 players. The Slovenian played 15 sets to get to the final, Del Potro seven.

"This is an incredible dream," said Zemlja, who defeated third-seeded Tommy Haas in the quarterfinals. "I am full of confidence now. I have no tactics yet to play Del Potro. I will have to talk to my coach first."

In his 17th career final, Del Potro is looking for his 12th title and third of the season after winning in Marseille and Estoril. He has never played Zemlja before.

Del Potro is playing his first tournament since returning from a wrist injury that sidelined him for more than a month.

"Being in the final means a lot to me after a month without playing," he said. "I am getting better match by match. I am improving on my game, on my confidence. I am happy to play my second final in a row here."

Del Potro said he was especially satisfied with his serve. He won all 38 service games this event, and in Wednesday's second round, Del Potro and Daniel Brands of Germany hit 30 and 32 aces respectively to set an all-time record for most aces in a best-of-three match.

His semifinal consisted mainly of short rallies and featured no breaks of serve. Del Potro converted his fourth match point with his 17th ace, while Zemlja had 16 aces.



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