LONDON, July 1, 2016
For the first time since 2008, two Grand Slam champions met in the second round in Wimbledon, when Juan Martin Del Potro defeated Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 on Friday. The 2009 US-Open winner withstood 15 aces, hitting nine of his own to prevail in two hours and 43 minutes.
“It is an amazing sensation for me,” Del Potro told afterwards. “I beat one of the guys who’s playing great tennis this season. I couldn’t expect this victory today but I played much better after the first set. I was so happy to be on court, the score didn’t matter, but now I am really happy. After my third surgery, it’s like my second or third career in my young life. I just want to play tennis again. It’s a great sensation for me. I feel alive.
“I am trying to hit my backhand as I did in the past but sometimes I don’t feel confident enough to do it, so I am using the slice a lot,” the Tower of Tandil added. “I have to do two to three hours a day with treatment, exercise, workout and flexibility, everything, and after that I go to practice. Then I have to work on the backhand, so it’s not easy to do every day. I’m still confident to get back my old backhand and the doctor said I can do it. But I have to do some things with my mind. Two or three months ago I could only hit slice, now I can hit some returns harder and that for me is a small thing but good thing. In future, if I can get all the shots in my game, I could be a better player.”
Elsewhere, in a highly expected encounter Nick Kyrgios fought past Dustin Brown 6-7, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The 21-year-old Australian fired 27 aces, winning 78% of his first service points. In an exciting match, Kyrgios hit 55 winner, Brown even 78. The favourite eventually sealed victory in two hours and five minutes.
“It was frustrating at times but, at the same time, I knew that that was the type of match it was going to be,” Kyrgios said. “He’s a great player to watch and an entertainer. Some of the shots are truly incredible, so I knew it was going to be tough. And to be honest, looking back at it, this match was always going to go five sets. I’m just really pleased to move through, but that was a tough match to get through.
“First set I thought the level was really good. He hit a couple of good shots in the tiebreak that were just too good and I knew that I had to steady the ship. I knew there were going to be moments where he does give you a couple of chances and I stayed the task, won a great second set.
“Obviously, I went off course a lot in the third set but I thought he barely missed a shot in the third set. Then obviously the fourth and fifth were just nail-biting tennis, just trying to put the ball in and serve to your spots. At the end of the day, it was a fun match.”
After seeing off world number 772 Marcus Willis in the second round, Roger Federer knocked out with Dan Evans another British opponent in the final match on centre court. The world number three converted six of his 15 break point chances to secure a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory in one hour and 26 minutes. Federer awaits the winner of the match between Grigor Dimitrov and Steve Johnson in the fourth round.