Del Potro dumps Ferrer to reach fourth round

Juan Martin Del Potro during his third round match against David Ferrer (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California March 13, 2018. — Picture by Jayne  Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters
Juan Martin Del Potro during his third round match against David Ferrer (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California March 13, 2018. — Picture by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

INDIAN WELLS, March 14 — Sixth seeded Juan Martin Del Potro continued his recent dominance over David Ferrer by beating the Spaniard 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to reach the fourth round of the ATP Indian Wells tournament here yesterday.

The 29-year-old Del Potro improved to 7-6 overall against Ferrer but has now won five straight, dating back to the 2013 Wimbledon quarter-finals.

“We always play tough matches. I got lucky,” said the world number eight Del Potro. “I played really well in the tiebreak and served well in the important moments.”

Del Potro will next face fellow Argentinian Leonardo Mayer, who defeated Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-1.

Del Potro is playing some of his best tennis in years as he improved to 13-3 on the season. In January he returned the top 10 for the first time since 2014.

He is fresh off winning his 21st career title earlier this month in Acapulco when he steamrolled his way into the final by beating three top 10 players in a row.

He capped off his Acapulco run by beating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 in the championship game.

Del Potro, the 2013 Indian Wells finalist, hammered six aces and won 87 per cent of his first-serve points in the one hour, 46 minute match against Ferrer.

He says he is eager to get back to the final and lift the trophy in the California desert.

“It is one of my dreams to win this title. I have been in the final and the semis but I have never held the trophy,” he said.

Elsewhere, world number three Marin Cilic became another top seed casualty, losing in straight sets to Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4.

The 29-year-old Cilic, who reached the finals of two of the last three Grand Slams, dropped to a record of 10-4 on the season.

Kohlschreiber advances to the fourth round where he will play unseeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert who won his third round match when fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils retired in the second set with a lower back injury.

Cilic blasted five aces but couldn’t overcome Kohlschreiber’s strong serving game. The German won 76 per cent of his first serve points and broke Cilic’s serve twice, once in each set.

Played aggressive

Kohlschreiber said he tried to get the match over as quickly as possible.

“I felt good. Played aggressive. I think in the crucial moments or on the big points I could put on my side,” Kohlschreiber said. “I think another key factor was that it was a two-set win.”

Kohlschreiber is now 7-4 overall against Cilic. He has won three out of their last four meetings, including a straight set victory in the final in Munich on clay in 2012. He won their first meeting on hardcourt in Moscow in 2007.

In other third round matches, Canadian No. 1 Milos Raonic beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. — AFP

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