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Berdych defeats Del Potro to win Japan Open
Updated: 2008-10-05 17:22

TOKYO - Tomas Berdych claimed his first singles title for 16 months with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday to win the Japan Open.

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic poses with his victory trophy after defeating Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their final match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo October 5, 2008. [Agencies] 

The ninth-seeded Czech relied on strong serves and solid groundstrokes to beat the Argentine, whose was not able to show the form that had seen him win 29 of 30 matches going into the final.

"At this level of tennis, it's important to be consistent," said the 23-year-old Berdych, who had 11 aces. "I was able to do that all week and am thrilled to win the title."

After struggling for much of this season, Berdych said he's starting to get his game back. He reached the semifinals of the Bangkok Open last month.

"In today's tennis everything is so close and tough," said Berdych. "It's all about having confidence on the court. If you win one or two matches everything can come together."

Berdych coasted through the first set, then broke to go ahead 2-1 in the second set.

Del Potro fought back, lobbing the Czech to cut the lead to 5-4, but Berdych held serve in the final game to take the fifth title of his career.

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