ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Juan Martin del Potro reached his second straight final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Saturday by beating rising Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4.
Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, lost to Roger Federer in last year’s final but he won’t have to overcome him this year after the Swiss master lost in the quarterfinals Friday.
The 1.98-meter (6-foot-6) Argentine’s powerful serves and groundstrokes were too much for the swift and agile Dimitrov, who was attempting to reach his second ATP final of the year after losing to Andy Murray in the Brisbane International last month.
Del Potro broke in the third game of each set and rarely let Dimitrov attack his serves. Del Potro hasn’t dropped a service game in the tournament — but he still sees room for improvement.
"I am serving well, but I need to serve a little better tomorrow in the final," he said. "I saved a couple of break points, so I need to improve myself."
Dimitrov showed the flashes of the genius that have made him a crowd favourite at Rotterdam’s Ahoy arena, including a between the legs shot from the baseline to return a powerful drive from Del Potro.
But the 21-year-old Bulgarian faded in the second set, possibly feeling the effects of Friday’s grueling three-set quarterfinal victory over Marcos Baghdatis that lasted 2 1/2 hours.
Julien Benneteau, who beat Federer in the quarterfinals, plays Gilles Simon in an all-French semifinal in the evening.