Acapulco - World
number two Novak Djokovic battled into the quarter-finals of the ATP Tour's
Acapulco event on Wednesday, rallying for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph over
Juan Martin del Potro.
The Serbian star led a parade of the top four seeds into the last
eight, with second-seeded Rafael Nadal, number three Marin Cilic and
fourth-seeded defending champion Dominic Thiem all advancing.
Top-seeded Djokovic, back in action this week for the first time
since his shock second-round exit at the Australian Open in January, had
to dig deep against former US Open champion del Potro after falling a
break down in the third set.
He broke back immediately to level the set at 4-4 then held at love
to pile the pressure on del Potro -- who fended off one match point with
a service winner but couldn't hold off Djokovic on the next.
"Every match that I’ve played against DelPo in the past couple of
years has been very close, really enjoyable to play and great for the
crowd to watch,” said Djokovic. "I am very happy and proud to win this
match, even though I was close to losing when he was serving at 4-3 up
in the third set.
"I just tried to get as many returns back in play as possible."
The Serbian advanced to a quarter-final clash with Australia's Nick Kyrgios, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over American Donald Young.
Djokovic's travails in a match lasting two hours and 38 minutes were a
far cry from Nadal's comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 victory over Paolo Lorenzi.
”I played a complete match today and I'm feeling great after a month
without playing," said Nadal, a two-time winner in Acapulco who is
playing his first tournament since falling to Roger Federer in the
Australian Open final.
"I think I played a very solid match ... some great shots, some good
winners," added the Spaniard, who dropped just seven points on his serve
and never faced a break point against the 38th-ranked Italian.
Nadal broke Lorenzi for the fifth time in the final game of the
match, delivering a stinging forehand winner to wrap up the win in just
Nadal next faces Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 winner over Australian lucky loser Jordan Thompson.
Cilic booked his quarter-final berth with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 victory over fellow Croatian Borna Coric.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, remained unbeaten against his 20-year-old compatriot.
He fired a dozen aces, and broke Coric three times in the match --
including twice in the final set to set up a clash with American Steve
Johnson, a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 winner over American wildcard Ernesto
Austria's Thiem advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Adrian Mannarino.
Thiem, winner at Rio de Janeiro last week, booked a meeting with
American Sam Querrey, who toppled fifth-seeded Belgian David Goffin 6-2,
Results from the ATP/WTA tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, on Wednesday:
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-2, 6-4
Dominic Thiem (AUT x4) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-5, 6-3
Sam Querrey (USA) bt David Goffin (BEL x5) 6-2, 6-3
Steve Johnson (USA) bt Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Marin Cilic (CRO x3) bt Borna Coric (CRO) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-1, 6-1
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO x1) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-4, 6-4
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER x8) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 7-5, 6-4
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR x7) bt Julia Goerges (GER) 6-1, 2-0 retired
Christina McHale (USA x5) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/5)
Monica Puig (PUR x4) bt Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 6-4, 6-4
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 7-5 retired
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x2) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (5/7), 7-5