Federer avenges Del Potro loss

World No. 3 Roger Federer avenged one of the “biggest losses” of his career by defeating Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-5 in a highly anticipated second round match Tuesday night at the Western & Southern Open.

Though Federer entered the match with a 6-2 lead in FedEx ATP Head 2 Head meetings, del Potro had won their two most recent encounters - in the 2009 US Open final, when the Swiss was two points away from victory, and at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

In their first meeting since del Potro’s return from a lengthy injury layoff, Federer needed just a break of serve in each set to clinch the one hour, 32-minute victory. He won 83 per cent of his service points and came under pressure just once in the second set, successfully saving a break point in the sixth game.

“I expected a tough match with Juan Martin for obvious reasons, and it went better than I thought,” admitted Federer. “I thought I played a wonderful first set and a very good second set, too. That was obviously enough tonight. I don’t think I really allowed Juan Martin to be able to play the game he usually plays.”

The 30-year-old Swiss has won this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament four times overall, joining Mats Wilander as the only players to accomplish the feat, while Del Potro made his only previous event appearance in 2007 as a qualifier and reached the third round (l. to Moya).

“I feel well tonight, but Roger played like No. 1 in the world,” said del Potro. “He was very confident with his serve, and it’s very important against top players like him. Also I feel [it was] like when we played in the semi-finals in the French Open; he played unbelievable and he beat me in fifth set. I think he played like that match.”

The 19th-ranked Argentine will now take a week off before returning to Flushing Meadows for the first time since his 2009 triumph. “I will try to train hard to be 100 per cent for the Open,” he said. “I love this tournament. I want to be there. I want to just play the US Open this year, and then I will have time to take a rest, to think about this season, and to fix all my physical problems.”

Federer goes on to play American wild card James Blake in a repeat of the 2007 Cincinnati final. The Swiss holds a 9-1 record against the former World No. 4, with his only loss coming in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

“That was obviously a pretty big match for me to lose as well,” said Federer. “May be getting a chance for some revenge. I’m looking forward to it. Seems like he’s playing well. Definitely going to be ready for it.  Had a great final here years ago, and hope we can make something similar happen.”

Date: 17.08.2011, Source: ATP


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