Del Potro Sails into the Round of 16 in New York

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2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is one step closer to repeating history after defeating countryman Leonardo Mayer in straight sets.  The Argentine, who turns 24 in a few weeks, has been mounting a successful comeback to the top of the men’s game following a serious wrist injury.

Now ranked 8th in the world, del Potro has reached at least the 4th round of each of this year’s grand slam tournaments.  Following a 4 set victory over the USA’s Ryan Harrison, del Potro entered the 3rd as the heavy favorite against the 63rd ranked Mayer.

The towering Argentine started the match as expected, scoring two easy breaks over Mayer to take the first set 6-3.  Things evened out from there though as Mayer started to present for a challenge, breaking del Potro for the first time in the 2nd set.  Keeping his cool and taking advantage of Mayer’s often out-of-control forehand, del Potro came away with the 2nd set after 72 minutes of play.  Trying to wrap up the match in straight sets, the 3rd set ended up lasting a marathon 86 minutes before ending in a 11-9 tiebreak win for del Potro.

In the end, the 7th seed played a solid match and defended his serve well against Mayer, winning 84% of his first serve points.  He fired 7 aces and came to the net 22 times en route to the victory which has earned him a place in the 4th round.  He will play either Andy Roddick or Fabio Fognini for a place in the quarterfinals.

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