Easy slider Del Potro closes in on Djokovic

2017-07-04 19:37
juan martin del potro
Juan Martin Del Potro (Getty Images)

London - Juan Martin del Potro moved to within one victory of a potential Wimbledon rematch against Novak Djokovic on Tuesday, but would love to find his feet first.

The injury-prone Argentine slipped all over Court Two on Tuesday before he completed a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 win over Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia.

Del Potro's reward is a second round clash against unpredictable Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

If he gets through that, the 28-year-old former US Open champion could face Djokovic four years after he lost to the Serb in the longest semi-final ever played at Wimbledon.

"I know I could face Novak but first I have to win my second round match," he said.

"Everybody knows how good is Ernests on this surface. He has a good day, he can beat all the guys on tour.

"I have to be focused doing my job, doing my serves and forehands. If he give me a little chance to break the serve, I will try to take it."

Del Potro's career, which saw him sweep to the US Open title in 2009, has been plagued by long-standing wrist problems.

They have required three surgeries and pushed him close to retirement last year.

He faced down possible injury fears again on Tuesday as he constantly struggled to stay on his feet before subduing Kokkinakis.

"It's always slippery but you must deal with that. You have to learn the movements on this surface," said 29th seed Del Potro, who needed seven match points to seal his win.

"At the beginning of this tournament, it's complicated to move. But in the end, when the court is dried and the sun comes out, it is much easier to move."

Gulbis, now down at 589 in the world rankings after reaching a high of 10 in 2014 on the back of a shock run to the French Open semi-finals, reached the second round with his first win on the tour in 13 months.

The 28-year-old Latvian brushed past Victor Estrella of Dominica 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 out on Court 16.

Such was Gulbis's routine win that the most dramatic moment came when a ball girl collapsed and had to be escorted off court in a wheelchair.

Wimbledon results on Tuesday, the second day of the 2017 championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeding):


1st rd

Radu Albot (MDA) bt Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 7-6 (7/3)

Milos Raonic (CAN x6) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)

Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-2, 7-5, 6-4

Andrey Rublev (RUS) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5

Albert Ramos (ESP x25) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

Jack Sock (USA x17) bt Christian Garn (CHI) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Alexander Zverev (GER x10) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3

Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) bt James Ward (GBR) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Mischa Zverev (GER x27) bt Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Taro Daniel (JPN) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Aleksandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 6-3, 3-0 -- retired

Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Nicols Jarry (CHI) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-3

David Ferrer (ESP) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA x22) 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2

Steve Darcis (BEL) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

Gael Monfils (FRA x15) bt Daniel Brands (GER) 6-3, 7-5, 6-4

Kyle Edmund (GBR) bt Alex Ward (GBR) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1

Yuichi Sugita (JPN) bt Brydan Klein (GBR) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0

Juan Martn Del Potro (ARG x29) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Vctor Estrella (DOM) 6-1, 6-1, 6-2

Adam Pavlsek (CZE) bt Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 6-7 (7/9), 6-1, 6-3, 6-1

Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 6-3, 2-0 -- retired


1st rd

Angelique Kerber (GER x1) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 6-4, 6-4

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-4, 6-3

Shelby Rogers (USA) bt Julia Boserup (USA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Kiki Bertens (NED x23) 7-6 (7/4), 7-5

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) bt Magda Linette (POL) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 6-2, 7-5

Garbie Muguruza (ESP x14) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-2, 6-4

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x9) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 7-6 (7/3), 6-0

Christina McHale (USA) bt Katie Boulter (GBR) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3

Varvara Lepchenko (USA) bt Lauren Davis (USA x28) 6-4, 7-5

Polona Hercog (SLO) bt Annika Beck (GER) 6-2, 6-1

Karolna Plskov (CZE x3) bt Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 6-1, 6-4

Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 6-4, 6-1

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN x30) 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-1

Petra Martic (CRO) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS x20) 6-4, 2-6, 10-8

Denisa Allertov (CZE) bt Risa Ozaki (JPN) 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3

Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Xinyun Han (CHN) 6-3, 6-4

Arina Rodionova (AUS) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x16) 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 9-7

Alison Riske (USA) bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-2, 7-5

Tatjana Malek (GER) bt Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 6-3, 2-2 -- retired

Coco Vandeweghe (USA x24) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 7-5, 6-2

Darya Kasatkina (RUS x29) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-2, 6-4


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