STUTTGART, June 9, 2016
In the afternoon session of Day 4 at the €675,465 Mercedes Cup, two former US-Open champions stepped into action on centre court of the Tennis Club Weissenhof.
2014 titlist Marin Cilic, who is seeded second in Stuttgart, fell to Radek Stepanek 7-6, 7-5. The Czech veteran came through the qualifying, saved the only break point he faced, converting one of his own to reach his first quarterfinal on the ATP World Tour since Bogota last July. He has reached the stage of the final eight in Stuttgart a second time, following his debut in 2004. Stepanek will take on Philipp Kohlschreiber next.
Juan Martin Del Potro, who lifted the trophy at the US-Open in 2009, defeated Lucas Pouille on Tuesday returning to the grass courts for the first time in two years. The 27-year-old Argentine advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over John Millman in the pair’s first tour meeting. Del Potro didn’t face a break point, winning 86% of his first service points to finish the encounter after one hour and 22 minutes.
“If you serve well and hit hard, you will have the chance to win on grass. I am trying to take my opportunities on grass and this is a very special tournament for me, as I captured my first career title here. I still have good memories of the tournament and I am so glad to play once again here in Stuttgart,” told Del Potro during his on-court interview with Barbara Schett. The “Tower of Tandil” clinched the Mercedes Cup on clay, back in 2008.
Del Potro will next face fourth seed Gilles Simon. The fourth seed from France fought past Jan-Lennard Struff, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in one hour and 40 minutes.
“It’s going to be a totally different match. Gilles will be the favourite. I am just trying to get better and better day by day. I am getting older, too, but I am still here in order to keep working hard and to get better in the future. Hopefully, I will be able to be as aggressive as in the past. Then, I could be dangerous for all the players.”