Swiss blows past Del Potro into fourth round

New Straits Times - - Sport -

IN-FORM Roger Fed­erer pow­ered his way into the fourth round of the Mi­ami Open with a 6-3 6-4 win over Ar­gentina’s Juan Martin del Potro on Mon­day.

Del Potro al­ways en­joys plenty of crowd sup­port in Mi­ami, which has a large Ar­gen­tine com­mu­nity, and it was the same story again with foot­ball-style chants of sup­port ring­ing out for the 28year-old on a packed Cran­don Park cen­tre court.

It was the pair’s first meet­ing since 2013 and hav­ing won 15 of the pre­vi­ous 21 en­coun­ters, Fed­erer was favourite - but the crowd fac­tor gave the third round match an added edge.

“Shortly be­fore I walked out to the court you could sense the at­mos­phere. That’s when I told my­self, Just be pre­pared for some­thing dif­fer­ent, you know. It was dif­fer­ent,” Fed­erer said.

He was forced to save four break points in the first set but he got ahead with a thun­der­ing fore­hand to take a 5-3 lead and served out for the set.

The Ar­gen­tine had a chance to turn things around when he had a break point when down 4-3 in the se­cond set but Fed­erer, mov­ing well and look­ing full of con­fi­dence, held firm and wrapped up the match in one hour and 22 min­utes.

“I felt like I was in con­trol and I was able to gen­er­ate more chances than he did,” Fed­erer said.

“I felt like he got his chances a lit­tle bit out of nowhere, maybe be­cause I dropped my level ever so slightly and gave him few easy points, and that’s how he sort of got more chances on my serve.

“I feel like I earned it more. I was more the ag­gres­sor. It was more on my rac­quet, and I like it that way,” added the Swiss, who won his 18th Grand Slam ti­tle at the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary.

Fed­erer, whose suc­cess­ful re­turn from a six-month in­jury lay­off has also in­cluded a win at In­dian Wells this month, will face 14th seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the next round.

Fed­erer’s com­pa­triot and topseed Stan Wawrinka de­feated Tu­nisian Malek Jaziri 6-3, 6-4.

Wawrinka saved all six break points he faced and con­verted two of his four break op­por­tu­ni­ties and will now face Alexander Zverev of Ger­many in the fourth round on Tues­day.

Zverev pulled off a re­mark­able win over Amer­i­can John Is­ner, sav­ing three match points as he came back from a set down to tri­umph 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5)

Czech To­mas Berdych, Mi­ami fi­nal­ist in 2010, de­feated Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-4 while Aus­tralia’s Nick Kyr­gios held off a strong ef­fort from big serv­ing Croat Ivo Karlovic on the way to a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-2) win.

Kyr­gios will play Bel­gian David Gof­fin, who nar­rowly edged a three-set thriller against Ar­gen­tine Diego Schwartz­mann. AFP


Roger Fed­erer in ac­tion against Juan Martin Del Potro in Mi­ami Open in Florida on Mon­day.

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