Melbourne: Juan Martin del Potro has confidence in his imposing forehand to get him deeper into the men's draw at the Australian Open after advancing to the third round on Wednesday.
Argentina's world number 11, on his way back from a wrist injury, put away Slovenia's 103-ranked Blaz Kavcic, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 in 2hr 42min to reach the third round for only the third time in six visits to Melbourne.
Del Potro cranked up his big forehand for 12 of his 41 winners on the way to claiming seven service breaks.
He used his forehand to pound winners when he upset Roger Federer in the 2009 US Open final and he is working his way back to the top-10 rankings after surgery on his career-threatening wrist problem in 2010.
"Yeah, I'm almost in my best form. I think I played much better than in my first match and Kavcic is very dangerous and fast," del Potro said.
"I feel confidence with my forehand. So it's important to play safely all the game and play with confidence every time."
"I don't know if I'm closer to or far from my best level of 2009, but I'm doing my job, trying to improve my serve, forehand, volleys, everything.
"Then we will see if I can play better or not in the future."
Del Potro will now face Taiwanese Lu Yen-hsun in the last 32 and won their only meeting in three sets in Washington in 2009.
"I've already won a very tough match. I want to think about my next round. It will be against Lu," he said. "He's also dangerous, so if I play like today, maybe I have little chance to win."
But Lu, ranked 79, has no fear of the tall Argentine after pulling off upsets against David Nalbandian at the 2009 Australian Open and Andy Murray at the Beijing Olympics a year earlier.
"When you play a big player, You have to stay with them, fight and find a way to hold the match, because they like to dominate," Lu said.
"From the beginning you have to send a message 'I can play with them'. Then they start to feel pressure and make mistakes."