Potro makes winning return to Cincinnati
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[August 16, 2017]
(Reuters) - Juan Martin del
Potro made a winning return to the Cincinnati Open on Tuesday when
the Argentine ground out a 3-6 7-6(1) 6-0 victory over 10th-seeded
Czech Tomas Berdych to reach the second round on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old, back in Cincinnati after a four-year absence from
the U.S. Open warmup event, powered down 17 aces to rally past
Berdych after he surrendered the opening set following a listless
Berdych found his rhythm early in the match and broke Del Potro for
a 3-1 lead and did not lose a point on his powerful serve until the
But as Del Potro, a semi-finalist at the tournament in 2012 and
2013, worked his way back into the match, Berdych slowly began to
lose confidence and failed to win a single game in the deciding set.
"During the second set, in the end, I played my best tennis," 2009
U.S. Open champion Del Potro told reporters. "I hit so sure with my
forehand. I made good serves and I took all my chances to win.
"Mentally, I was strong enough to keep fighting and I think he got
down after losing that second set. Then, when I broke his serve
early in the third (set), my game started improving and I played
much better than him."
Del Potro advances to meet American qualifier Mitchell Krueger in
the second round.
Australian Nick Kyrgios also opened his campaign with a welcome
victory as the world number 23 beat Belgian ninth seed David Goffin
6-2 6-3 in the afternoon heat to reach the second round.
[to top of second column]
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) returns a shot against Tomas Berdych
(CZE) during the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis
Center. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Other than in the first game when he had to climb out
of a 0-40 hole, Kyrgios experienced few problems on serve and even
secured three breaks against Goffin, who had to take a medical time
out for a knee injury during the match.
"He obviously wasn't at 100 percent today but you know I'm not at
100 percent either, so it was a bit of a battle," said Kyrgios, who
has struggled with an array of injuries throughout the season.
"But I served well at crucial moments. I'm feeling okay. I think as
long as I can keep putting in performances like these and being able
to compete I think I'm okay."
In other action, third seed Dominic Thiem of Austria was barely
tested in his 6-3 6-2 second-round win over Italy's Fabio Fognini,
while Jack Sock beat fellow American Tommy Paul 6-3 6-3 to reach the
round of 16.
Earlier in the day, big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, the sixth
seed, announced his withdrawal from the tournament due to a
lingering left wrist injury.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in Tampa, Florida; Editing by Toby
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