Tokyo, Japan (SportsNetwork.com) - Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro earned a 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 victory over Canada's Milos Raonic Sunday to capture the title at the Japan Open Tennis Championships.
The top-seeded del Potro moved to 16-6 all-time in finals, including 3-1 this year. It was a bit of revenge for del Potro, who was beaten by Raonic in straight sets in August at the ATP Masters 1000 series event in Montreal.
Raonic, seeded third, was after his third title of the year. The Canadian won the Thailand Open last weekend.
"I think I am doing a lot of things better week in, week out," said Raonic of his recent strong play. "I can play a good level, but I just need to improve on a consistent basis. There is work to be done."
Raonic couldn't catch up to a strong serve from del Potro, which ended the first set tiebreaker.
The players stayed on serve in the second set until a powerful winner at the net from del Potro moved him to a break and a 6-5 advantage. He finally ended the 1-hour, 46-minute match with a forehand winner.
"You have to be focused and wait for the chance," said del Potro about being patient. "I took his serve in the last game to break. In the tiebreak, 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."
Del Potro, who collected $312,000 for the victory, won despite double-faulting four times and being victimized by 17 aces from Raonic.