Juan Martin del Potro showed he is over the knee injury that affected him at Wimbledon by winning two matches in a day as he made his return to the tour at the Citi Open on Thursday.
The Argentine — playing his first matches since losing an epic semi-final at Wimbledon on July 5 — recorded a quick 6-1, 7-5 victory over the US’ Ryan Harrison in a match postponed from Wednesday by rain, then returned to the court shortly after to defeat Australian Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-3.
“Really good day,” Del Potro said, smiling as he leaned back in his chair and stretched out his legs. “The match against Tomic was a little better than the first one.”
The two-time Citi Open champion said his knee felt fine; he was not wearing any sort of strapping the way he did at the All England Club after hyperextending it on a fall during a match. At Wimbledon he was eliminated in five sets by No. 1 Novak Djokovic in 4 hours, 43 minutes; the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history.
Del Potro is next to face No. 7-seeded Kevin Anderson, also a winner twice on Thursday.
Two other Americans joined Harrison on the way out on Thursday with exits against highly seeded men: Jack Sock lost to No. 2 Kei Nishikori of Japan 7-5, 6-2, while Tim Smyczek was beaten by No. 3 Tommy Haas of Germany 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a match suspended on Wednesday after the opening game of the final set.
In the afternoon’s biggest surprise, Marinko Matosevic of Australia beat No. 4 Milos Raonic of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (7), while Nishikori was unable to back up in his second match of the day, swept aside by Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 6-2.
Anderson eliminated Australian James Duckworth 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, then played again and beat Mardy Fish of the US 7-6 (2), 6-1. Before that match finished, Fish’s withdrawal from next week’s tournament in Montreal was announced; the event said he pulled out for personal reasons.
The other men’s quarter-finals are No. 8 John Isner against No. 16 Marcos Baghdatis, No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov against either No. 3 Tommy Haas or No. 13 Ivan Dodig, and Marinko Matosevic against Dmitry Tursunov.
In women’s action, the only seeded player to lose was No. 8 Madison Keys of the US, who failed to convert two match points and bowed out against Monica Niculescu 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (6).
The women’s quarter-finals are No. 1-seeded Angelique Kerber against No. 7 Magdalena Rybarikova, No. 3 Ekaterina Makarova against Niculescu, No. 4 Alize Cornet against Sorana Cirstea and Andrea Petkovic against Paula Ormaechea.