Following straight sets victories in their match-up on Thursday afternoon, the “Tower of Tandil” Juan Martin del Potro and Latvian No. 1 Ernests Gulbis will meet in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Friday. The last time the two competitors met on the tour was here in Rotterdam, with Del Potro earning the victory to boost the head-to-head series to 3-1 overall.
Del Potro improved to a 10-1 record in Rotterdam, after earning a straight sets victory over Paul-Henri Mathieu on Thursday afternoon. After a quick 6-2 victory in the opening set, the Argentine was forced to battle through the second set and save several set points before securing the victory. The world No. 4 is a 2012 runner-up in Rotterdam as well as the defending champion and will be looking to defend his ranking points this week, where he needs three more victories, the first of which being against Ernests Gulbis in the quarter-final.
Following his “ugly” win in the previous round, Gulbis redeemed himself with a strong straight sets victory over budding Bulgarian talent Grigor Dimitrov. Gulbis fired 12 aces and saved all five break points in a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory to set up a rematch against the top Argentine on the green Rotterdam surface. This marks the second quarter-final of the season for Gulbis and he would like to advance further to the semi-finals.
This marks the fifth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Del Potro leading the head-to-head series 3-1, including their most recent contest her in Rotterdam. Gulbis’ victory came in a 2011 contest in Los Angeleas, where he defeated Del Potro in straight sets to reach the semi-finals. Del Potro seems to have recovered from his wrist injury and if that is the case, he should manage to earn the victory here in three sets.
Prediction: Juan Martin del Potro in Three Sets