Second seed Juan Martin del Potro lifted his game with the Davis Cup final approaching as the Argentine defeated German Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-4 to progress to the third round of the Austrian Open on Wednesday.
A week ago Del Potro was beaten in the first round in Stockholm by James Blake, a poor start to the indoor season, which will climax with the 2009 US Open winner leading his side in the Davis Cup final with Spain in Seville from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4.
Del Potro, ranked 15th as he builds on his comeback from wrist surgery last year, will play either German veteran Tommy Haas or Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene, who advanced when Ivo Karlovic quit with a bad back in their match.
The Argentine — making his first appearance here since 2008 — got an early break in the first set against Petzschner, who captured his lone ATP singles title here three years ago as a qualifier with a win over Gael Monfils.
The last two games of the 43-minute set were marathons, with the German saving two Del Potro set points for 3-5. A game later, Del Potro was again pushed, forced to salvage four break points and requiring three more set points to finally take the lead.
In the second, Del Potro broke for 5-4 and served out for the win a game later, ending with a spectacular reflex forehand off his shoelaces that landed good in the far corner for victory in just under 90 minutes with eight aces.
South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson joined Del Potro in the last eight with a straight sets defeat of Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).
He will be playing in his ninth quarter-final this year when he faces the winner of the match between Austrian holder Jurgen Melzer and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
In concluding first-round contests, Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis brought Nikolay Davydenko’s first visit to Vienna since 2003 to an abrupt end with a 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7/2) win.
Stockholm finalist Jarkko Nieminen continued his good run of form with a defeat of Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.
? St Petersburg Open
AP, ST PETERSBURG, Russia
Second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia advanced to the second round of the St Petersburg Open with a straight-set victory on Wednesday, while sixth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain was beaten.
Tipsarevic beat Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-2, 7-5. Igor Andreev of Russia rallied to oust Granollers 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Later, fifth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia advanced to the quarter-finals by beating Julien Benneteau of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in their second-round match. Adrian Mannarino of France, who upset top-seeded Gilles Simon on Monday, advanced to the final eight for the first time since January by ousting Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-6 (5).
Fresh from winning his second career title in Moscow on Sunday, Tipsarevic broke Rochus twice in the first set and served for the match at 5-2 up in the second. However, Rochus, ranked 70th, broke him twice to level at 5-all.
The 13-ranked Serb then broke for the third time and served for the match. He double-faulted on his first match point at 40-30 up before closing the match on his second one.
Youzhny, who won the event in 2004 and was runner-up last season, broke twice in the deciding set for a 5-2 lead. He then saved a break point before wrapping up the victory on his second match point.
The 117th-ranked Andreev saved a match point while serving at 5-4 down in the decider to force a tiebreaker.
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