Del Potro survives Sydney scare

ESPN staff
January 8, 2014
Juan Martin del Potro was playing in his first match of 2014 © Getty Images

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro was required to dig deep in his opening match of 2014 by coming from a set down to beat Nicolas Mahut at the Sydney International.

Del Potro only took one game in the first set as he lost it 6-1, but fought back to claim the following two 6-3 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

Playing for the first time since losing a decisive group game to Roger Federer at last year's ATP World Tour Finals last November, Del Potro admitted to difficulties on his return to action.

"To be my first match after two months it was okay," he said. "The court and the balls are really fast and it's tough to play long rallies. And also Mahut serves really well, and he played a lot of slices and volleys. It's tough to feel the ball on the baseline. In the end I broke his serve in the third set, only once, and that was enough to close the match."

Second seed and last season's Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz was dumped out of the competition by Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2 6-2, while at the Heineken Open in Auckland, top seed and four-time champion David Ferrer won 6-7(5) 6-3 6-1 against American qualifier Donald Young.

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