Delpo Overcomes Early Challenge Of Tsitsipas | ATP World Tour

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Juan Martin del Potro drew upon his big-match experience on Wednesday to overcome the challenge one of the rising #NextGenATP stars, Greek qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Fifth seed Del Potro, a quarter-finalist in 2009 and 2017 at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, triumphed 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 42 minutes on Pietrangeli for a third-round test against ninth seed David Goffin of Belgium.

Del Potro and Goffin are tied at 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, following two matches in 2016 at the Rolex Shanghai Masters and the Swiss Indoors Basel.

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The 19-year-old Tsitsipas got off to a 4-2 advantage, courtesy of a break in the third game, when Del Potro struck an in-out forehand that hit the net and landed wide. However, Tsitsipas gifted the break back with a double fault at 3-4. Del Potro soon seized control and at 6-5, he finally converted his fifth set point chance on Tsitsipas’ serve with a deep crosscourt backhand that the Greek mis-timed.

Del Potro broke Tsitsipas for a 3-1 lead in the second set – in a run of 17 out of 25 points – and finished the match with a forehand winner down the line. The Argentine struck 24 out of 37 winners off his forehand wing.

Tsitsipas, who has already reached the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell final (l. to Nadal) and Millennium Estoril Open semi-finals (l. to Sousa), drops to a 15-13 mark on the year.

Del Potro, who is now 23-5 on the season, returned to the Top 10 in the ATP Rankings for the first time since August 2014 on 15 January 2018.

He has already lifted back-to-back trophies at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (d. Anderson) and the BNP Paribas Open – his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown (d. Federer). His 15-match winning streak ended at the hands of John Isner in the Miami Open presented by Itau semi-finals.

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