Japan Open: Del Potro beats Dolgopolov to set up SF clash against Almagro

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Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov (Player Bio), who ousted Janko Tipsarevic in the previous round, enjoyed a positive start to the quarter-final Japan Open match against top seed Juan Martin Del Potro (Player Bio) as he prevailed in the opening set, yet the top seed improved later on to complete a comeback and win 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Both athletes gave away their serves in the opening two games before the highest ranked Ukrainian restored the one break lead and confirmed it with some difficulties to move 5-3 ahead. He served out the opener in first attempt. The unseeded player broke early in the second set as well, but the Argentine was quick to respond again and ultimately added another break to level the terms. The beginning of the decider did not go smoothly for the favorite as he needed to stay alert in order to avert a break point danger in the third game, yet the rest of the final set went according to his plans. He will now have to defeat Nicolas Almagro (Player Info) to claim a spot in the Tokyo final.

The sixth-seeded Spaniard was second best to defending champion Kei Nishikori (Player Info) for the majority of the opening set, yet he succeeded to come back after a double break deficit, saving a set point in the process – he was stronger of the opponents in the tie-break that followed. He then went on to break the Japanese in the beginning of the second set, yet this time it was the local hero who managed to turn the tide and make it one set each. However, he did not take advantage of the momentum shift – the decider was only a contest until 2-2 when Almagro started his four straight games run to book a place in the semis with a 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-2 victory. He leads the head-to-head score against Del Potro 1-0 as he overcame the Argentine number one at Santiago Challenger back in 2006.

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