Juan Martin Del Potro (Player Profile) has made another step towards lifting his first Japan Open trophy – he lost a title clash to Berdych in 2008 – after an overwhelming display against fellow Argentine Carlos Berlocq (Player Profile) in their debut ATP encounter. The top seed opened the match in style by creating a triple break point and stealing the rival’s serve. He soon extended the one break lead which allowed him to grab the opener after half an hour of play, surrendering only a couple of points on his serve throughout the set. The set number two followed almost an identical pattern with the favorite going two breaks clear by 5-1 and serving out the match a few minutes after. The 25-year-old’s 6-2, 6-2 victory was backed by a high first serve percentage (71%) and by winning 86% of first serve rallies as well as 88% of second serve return points.
“I played better than yesterday, which was pleasing,” said del Potro. “I hit my forehand really strong and I was confident, able to break serve many times. Playing under a closed roof is a little different to the outdoor conditions, but it helps my game and especially my serve.”
In the quarter-finals, Delpo is scheduled to play Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov (Player Profile) who eliminated eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic (Player Profile). The Serb got off to a shaky start as he fell two breaks behind by 5-1. He managed to pull one back, but gave away yet another service game before dropping the set. Although Tipsarevic improved in the set number two, it was still Dolgopolov who was pulling all the strings – the highest ranked Ukrainian squandered three match points before the tie-break where he finally closed out the clash to win 6-3, 7-6 (2).