- ATP Tour
Del Potro through in Washington
Even before Ryan Harrison broke his racket by spiking it on the Citi Open court or screamed "Oh, my God!" in exasperation, top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro was feeling pretty good about the way things were going.
And they kept improving for the 2009 US Open champion.
Back in action after nearly a month off, Del Potro won twice in a span of about seven-and-a-half hours to reach the Citi Open quarter-finals. Del Potro started by winning a rain-postponed match against 107th-ranked American Harrison 6-1 7-5, then returned to the court under the lights at night to defeat 14th-seeded Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-3 6-3. Each lasted about 70 minutes.
"Really good day," Del Potro said, smiling as he leaned back in his chair and stretched out his legs. "The match against Tomic was a little better than the first one."
Del Potro, who received a first-round bye, is 11-1 at the hard-court tournament in Washington, where he won titles in 2008 and 2009.
The Argentine, No. 7 in the ATP rankings, hadn't competed since July 5, when he was eliminated in five sets by No. 1 Novak Djokovic in four hours and 43 minutes, the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history.
"I was training hard before coming here," said Del Potro, who will face No. 7-seeded Kevin Anderson, also a winner twice on Thursday.
Anderson eliminated James Duckworth 6-3 3-6 6-4, then beat Mardy Fish of the United States 7-6(2) 6-1. Before that match finished, Fish's withdrawal from next week's tournament in Montreal was announced; the event said he pulled out for personal reasons.
"It's hard for me, right now, to come out and just play every single week," said Fish, who has missed time the past two seasons while dealing with a heart condition.
"I still know I have a long ways to go to get back to where I'd like to be and where I was, maybe, 12 months ago," he added.
The other men's quarter-finals are No. 8 John Isner against No. 16 Marcos Baghdatis, No. 3 Tommy Haas against No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov, and Marinko Matosevic against Dmitry Tursunov.
Matosevic beat No. 4 Milos Raonic of Canada 7-5 7-6(7); Baghdatis surprised No. 2 Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-1 6-2; Haas finished off a second-round match suspended overnight in the third set, then also won Thursday's last match, 6-4 4-6 7-5 against No. 13 Ivan Dodig, wrapping it up after midnight.