Defending champ del Potro win in Washington

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Juan Martin del Potro came from a set down to beat Taiwan's Yen-sun Lu on Tuesday and advance to the round of 16 at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

Updated: August 05, 2009 09:19 IST
  • Total Shares


Defending champion Juan Martin del Potro came from a set down to beat Taiwan's Yen-sun Lu on Tuesday and advance to the round of 16 at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

The Argentine, seeded second, was given a bye to the second round where he met a more match-conditioned Lu and it showed in the opening set before del Potro recovered to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The main upset of the day was qualifier Somdev Devvarman of India ousting sixth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-5, 6-4 to also make the last 16.

In the only other second-round matches, Tomas Berdych, the eighth-seeded Czech, downed Lativa's Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 7-6 (8) and Germany's Tommy Haas edged past Canadian Frank Dancevic 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

In a match that started late Tuesday night and ended well past midnight, del Potro lost the opening set after dropping his serve at 3-3. He stormed back with his own break at 4-3 in the second and after breaking Lu to open the third, the 2008 champion finished off the long night by winning 16 of 18 service points.

Devvarman, who was a surprise quarerfinalist in this event last year, recorded his first ever win over a top-20 player and rated the defeat of Cilic as the most significant victory in his career.

Cilic, who defeated Devvarman in the final at Chennai, India in January, unofficially had 35 unforced errors, also showing some rustiness after a first-round bye.

"It was the final of a tour event, I wasn't as nervous coming out," Devvarman said of the difference between the two matches. "I also knew that it was the first match he was playing this week and I already had three under my belt. That's always a good feeling to bring to the match."

Haas, after cruising in the first set, went down 1-4 in the second before winning three straight games, but left the door open by failing to convert any of five break points in the next game. Dancevic held and then broke Haas to win the set.

"Next thing you know it's the third set and it's a battle," Haas said. "Anything can happen in the third set. He started to believe that maybe he could win. But somehow I hung in there, played some good points at the right time."

Haas broke at 3-3 in the final set and closed out a match he was not aware that he was going to play until he woke Tuesday.

"I didn't think I was going to play until (Wednesday) because that's what I was originally told," said Haas, who reached the semifinals in this event last year. "So when I looked at the schedule this morning online when I woke up, I was shocked to see myself playing at 7 p.m. I guess now I have a day off tomorrow, which is kind of nice."

In first-round matches, Germany's Benjamin Becker beat American Robby Ginepri 7-6 (3), 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4) to advance to a meeting with top-seeded Andy Roddick. Roddick, a three-time Washington champion hasn't played since injuring his right hip in his epic loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final a month ago.

"It's going to be the first match for him of the hard court season," said Becker, who lost both previous matches against Roddick. "It's going to be a fun match for me. I am just going to try to do some damage."

In a matchup of former top-10 ranked players, former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-0, thwarting eight break points.

"I saved a lot of break points with the serve and it was one of the keys to (stay) alive," said Ferrero, who will face Spanish compatriot and No. 7 seed Tommy Robredo in the second round.

In other first-round matches, qualifier Sebastien De Chaunac of France defeated Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-3, 7-6 (7); and Germany's Rainer Schuettler beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Tennis
  • Andy Roddick
  • Lukas Dlouhy
  • Rohan Bopanna
  • Leander Paes
  • Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi
  • Maria Sharapova

Leave a comment