Juan Martin Del Potro (Player Profile) continues his bid for a second consecutive title in Basel when he meets World No. 101 Paul-Henri Mathieu (Player Profile) in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoor Open 2013. This is the second time they meet on the tour and the first time in over seven years. The defending champion holds a 1-0 Head-to-Head lead.
Del Potro defeated Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis for the second time this month in the second round of the Basel Open with a similarly dominant performance. The Argentine dropped just three games en route to the quarter-finals and he has had a successful year on the tour, already having won three titles in 2013 and returning to the top 5 in the rankings for the first time in four years. No with a 45-13 record YTD, Del Potro will be looking to finish strong in this final stretch of the season. His next challenge will be Frenchman Mathieu, who he admits is a solid player.
“[Mathieu] is so solid on the baseline and he’s a fast player,” the Tower of Tandil said about his opponent. “I will have to be very calm, wait for my chances and play better than I did today.”
Mathieu defeated Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-3 earlier today, which is a particularly impressive performance considering Llodra had toppled World No. 10 Richard Gasquet in the opening round. His two-match streak in Basel is his best performance on the tour since May, when he reached the the quarter-finals before losing to Albert Montanes. He has compiled a 6-18 record on the tour this season and is looking to finish strong with potential career-best win over del Potro. He is 0-1 against top 10 players this season.
The last time these two competitors met was in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters, where Del Potro won comfortably 6-4, 6-3. While that contest was indeed over seven years ago, Del Potro is playing his best tennis since winning the US Open in 2009 – arguably even better. On the other hand, Mathieu is yet to win a significant match on the ATP tour in 2013 and is not likely to pose a threat to the “Tower of Tandil” tomorrow afternoon.
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