Del Potro sounds timely warning

Del Potro sounds timely warning

Argentine wins Sydney crown; Bopanna-Qureshi beaten in title round

Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro served notice of his strong form ahead of the Australian Open when he crushed defending champion Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the Sydney International on Saturday.

The 2009 US Open champion simply overpowered the talented but inconsistent Australian on Ken Rosewall Arena, bringing the one-sided contest to a close with a booming service winner after 53 minutes.

Seeded fifth at Melbourne Park, the 25-year-old looks to be approaching the sort of intimidating form that secured him his greatest triumph at Flushing Meadows before a wrist injury nearly ended his career.

Playing near faultless tennis, Del Potro served with venom and unleashed powerful forehands and backhands that forced a string of errors from the overwhelmed Tomic.

American John Isner earlier claimed his second Auckland Open title with a 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7) victory over an inspired Lu Yen-Hsun in a tight final in New Zealand.

While Lu ultimately came up short in his first final, Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza hammered Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 6-0 in hers to clinch a maiden WTA title at the Hobart International.

Japan's Kei Nishikori was also a winner on Saturday when the lucky loser finalist beat world number seven Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5 to win the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament.

In Auckland, Isner crashed down 23 aces but it would take more than his big serve to corral the Taiwanese, who put on a brilliant display of shot-making in his first ATP final.

Lu, number 62 in the world, stunned David Ferrer to end the Spaniard's three-year reign as champion in the semifinals but Isner held his nerve when it mattered to edge two tiebreaks and avoid another upset. In Hobart, Muguruza's dominance and aggression reduced the experienced Zakopalova to tears of frustration in the second set of the 70-minute match.

The 20-year-old was all over Zakopalova's serve from the start and, having fended off one match point, the Czech conceded the contest with her third double fault.

Doubles defeat

Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi had to be content with a runners-up finish at the Sydney International after losing the fiercely fought final, in which there was no break of serve, against Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic.

The second-seeded Indo-Pak pair lost 6-7 (3-7), 6-7 (3-7) to the unseeded Canadian-Serbian combination in one hour and 35 minutes. 

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