Del Potro beats Baker to reach Basel QFs, Youzhny also through

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Juan Martin Del Potro moves on to the quarter finals in Basel after a fairly comfortable victory over Brian Baker, winning 7-5 6-1. Baker held his own for much of the first set, dropping just three points in his first five service games but was unable to do much on the Del Potro serve. He would crack first with a poor service game at 5-5, losing four straight points from 15-0 to get broken and allow Del Potro to serve for the set which he would do with ease.

Class began to tell in the second set as Del Potro took charge, quickly taking a 4-0 lead. Baker would avoid the embarrassment of the bagel holding for 4-1, but that would be it for him as Del Potro broke once more to end the match in just 78 minutes. It was an accomplished serving performance from the Argentinian who served 74% and 10 aces.

Mikhail Youzhny defeated an Australian for the second round running, needing less than an hour to dispose of Matthew Ebden in straight sets 6-3 6-1. An early break in the first set would be all he needed as he continued his serving dominance this tournament losing just five points in the set and seven overall.

The second set would be more straight forward, with consecutive breaks ending the match as a contest. Ebden’s second love hold of the match ended a run of six games won by Youzhny but he would not hold next time round, with the Russian breaking from 40-0 down to move into the quarter finals.

Paul-Henri Mathieu came back from a break down in the third set to defeat Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 (2)6-7 6-4. A fast start for the Frenchman saw him soon into a 3-0 lead in the opening set and after saving two break points at 3-1 he never looked back in the first and would hold to 30 to close out at the end of the set.

Serve continued to dominant in the second with Mathieu not dropping a point (17/17) on his first serve while Davydenko lost just five points on his first and saved a key break point at 3-3, holding to take a marathon game spanning five deuces. With neither player able to break, a tie break would need to settle the second. Mathieu could do very little after finding himself in a 0-5 deficit, eventually falling to a 7-2 defeat as Davydenko forced a decider.

The momentum looked to have stayed with the Russian who immediately broke to open the third, but would need three opportunities to do so. He failed to confirm the break though despite having two game points. Next return game, Mathieu carved out another break point but Davydenko would hold to live a little longer. A love hold forced Davydenko to serve to stay in the match, a task he failed spectacularly handing over his serve to love and with it the match.

Benoit Paire and Kevin Anderson were also successful, defeating Lukasz Kubot (6-4 6-4) and Marinko Matosevic (6-3 (5)6-7 6-3 respectively.

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