Del Potro gets his first after a marathon battle | sports | Hindustan Times
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Del Potro gets his first after a marathon battle

Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro won his first match in a year on Monday, coming through a 200-minute test with a 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 victory over Feliciano Lopez at the Sydney International.

sports Updated: Jan 11, 2011 00:48 IST

Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro won his first match in a year on Monday, coming through a 200-minute test with a 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 victory over Feliciano Lopez at the Sydney International.

The 22-year-old Argentine has played only two tournaments since having surgery last May on a wrist injury that hampered his Australian Open campaign last year, losing in the first round in both.

“We played a beautiful match, very close,” said Del Potro, who will play German Florian Mayer, a 7-5, 6-0 winner over British wildcard James Ward, in the next round.

“Feliciano is a fantastic player on this kind of surface, and I played good tennis again. I felt good all match, and finally I won a match (after) one year.”

Del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open final against Roger Federer, showed great determination after trailing by a set and again in the second set tiebreak. The third set was just as close and Del Potro was forced to save six break points before appropriately clinching victory with one of his savage flat forehands.

Ranked fifth in the world before his injury, Del Potro said he was a long way from his best and needed a lot more playing time to get back to that level.

Kohlschreiber advances in Auckland

Auckland:

Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber overcame a slow start to advance to the second round of the Auckland Classic with a 2-6, 6-3 6-1 victory over Argentina's Carlos Berlocq.

Spain's Tommy Robredo, who made the final on the central Auckland courts in 2007, was forced into a unexpected battle against New Zealand wildcard Michael Venus in an earlier match.

The 23-year-old Venus, who is ranked 330th in the world, delighted the home crowd by taking the first set in a tiebreak, but after the former world number five took the second with the only break of the set it was one way traffic in the third.