Del Potro dethrones Tomic to become Sydney champ

Sydney, Australia ( - Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro swiftly beat defending champion Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-1 in Saturday's final at the Sydney International tennis.

Del Potro fired eight aces and broke the Australian's serve four times in the 53-minute match.

"The finals never are easy, but I was surprised by my level tonight," said del Potro, who became the first Argentine to win the Sydney title since David Nalbandian's triumph in 2009. "I think I played great. My forehand worked perfectly; I made a lot winners; many aces; I played good slices."

The world No. 5 del Potro captured his 18th career title and hopes to carry the momentum into the year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which begins Monday.

"Starting the year in this way is very, very positive," he said. "I'm looking forward for the rest of the season. I need to still work in the same conditions and the same way. Now it starts the hardest tournament for us, and I will see if I can go farther than last year in Melbourne."

The former U.S. Open champion was ousted by Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the third round last year.

Tomic played in just his second career final and next faces world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the opening round of the Australian Open.

"I'm going to prepare as best I can. It's a tough task," Tomic said.