Juan Martin del Potro almost missed a big surprise at the ATP Masters 1000 Tournament in Rome. The Argentine defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6: 4, 6: 7 (6) and 4: 6 and was awarded a tiebreak on the second set of two match points.
by Nikolaus Fink
Last edited: 18.05.2019, 01:10 hours
The long-awaited match quickly developed into a duel at an impressive level. Djokovic had all of his six chances to break in the opening set, but del Potro took advantage of one of his two chances to win the first leg 6-4 after more than an hour of playing time.
In particular, the blow to the Argentine's back worked very well. While Del Potro was drunk, Djokovic struggled with some uneven places. But most importantly, his opponent's playing style should make him have a great headache.
In the second set, it was only a mistake that helped the world number one to 4: 2. At a score of 5: 2 Djokovic then found the ball at Servi del Potro, but the Serbian player could not use it and only a little later at 5: 5 suddenly only two games away from the exit.
Djokovic fended off two match points
Both players carry the next service and therefore the tiebreaker must make a decision. In this case it was originally similar to how the whole set before Del Potro went with 5: 3 in front. With tremendous cheers from many of the Tower of Tandils supporters, del Potro made two match balls immediately afterwards.
The first missed the Argentine with a simple forehand error, the second played Djokovic as an unachievable stop. In this phase, Serbian players once again prove why he has been the dominant force in men's tennis for years. The 31-year-old has momentum, takes a short decision 8: 6 and forces a third pass past midnight.
Before the start of the third set, del Potro had to be treated on the right foot due to a toe injury. Seriously, this doesn't seem to deter the 30-year-old man. The ninth ranking of the world found three opportunities to break the score of 2: 1, but left them all not used. It must take revenge: Again, the Argentine at the big point of the forehand is simple and Djokovic managed to break into 3: 2.
Schwartzman waits for Djokovic
This loss of impact brought the wind out of the del Potro screen. Djokovic had almost no problems playing his own service and after more than three hours playing with aces, turning his first match point into a very competitive 4: 6, 7: 6 (6) and 6: 4 victory.
Victory over del Potro Djokovic improved the semi-final duel with Diego Schwartzman. The Argentine defeated Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals in straight sets. For "Delpo", however, it will continue only in this year's second Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros – after an impressive appearance in the seventh match of the season, the 30-year-old but also in Paris is very brave.
Single table in Rome
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