Del Potro Moves Into Third Round At Rio Olympics

Juan Martin Del Potro (photo: ITF)

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 9, 2016

Juan Martin del Potro marches on at this year’s Olympic Tennis Event in Rio and he roared with delight after coming through a testing encounter 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 against Portugal’s Joao Sousa on Monday.

The big hitting South American fired 13 aces and capitalized on three of his five break points to prevail in one hour and 58 minutes.

“At the end, the match was complicated and my legs were heavy,” Del Potro admitted. “Last night I went to bed at 4:30 in the morning. Today I was having breakfast at nine o’clock. I still can’t believe I beat Djokovic and won again so soon.”

“I think I am getting better and I am in a good shape but I don’t know if I am prepared to play six or more matches this week. I am just going slowly, trying to get better every day and I think I am doing well,” the Argentine added, facing next Taro Daniel. The Japanese beat Kyle Edmund 6-4, 7-5.

Gilles Muller, who led his country at the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony on Friday night caused the upset of the day, knocking out fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-3.

Sad news for Philipp Kohlschreiber who, after pulling out of yesterday’s doubles, has had to withdraw ahead of his second round singles match against Andrej Martin with a right foot injury. It’s the second injury withdrawal for Germany in two days, after Dustin Brown tore two tendons in his ankle in defeat to Thomaz Bellucci.

“A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with a bone bruise in my right foot so I rested and did the right things and came here with the hopes that everything was fine, but yesterday I went to the MRI because after the win in three sets my leg got swollen again and they diagnosted a stress fracture on the right side. The doctor put his opinion that I really should stop right away and I have to rest and make sure it doesn’t become a really big injury. It’s tough to say for how long… he said 6 to 8 weeks. It’s a very slow process,” Kohlschreiber said.

“I came here for my first Olympic Games with a very open and positive mind and so far the experience was really great – sleeping in the village, seeing all the other athletes, having a good time. Of course now it is hard to describe this feeling, that it is ending with a very sad and serious injury.”

Kei Nishikori was forced to come back from a first set deficit before seeing off a spirited display by Australia’s John Millman in the last singles match of the day on Centre Court. The fourth seed from Japan will face Andrej Martin in the third round.

Mixed Feelings For Nadal And Djokovic In Doubles

Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal booked their place in the quarterfinals after defeating Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro and Maximo Gonzalez in a close encounter, winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 on Court 2. Lopez and Nadal look delighted with the win and one more victory will see the Spanish guaranteed a medal match.

“It was a long match with a lot of tension for a lot of moments. All the matches are tough, I play with high emotions here and that makes the matches tougher physically, especially for me with two months without competing and not practicing much, but enjoying every single moment. I am happy,” Nadal said.

World number one Novak Djokovic‘s run at Rio 2016 comes to an early end, as the Brazilian duo of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, no doubt lifted by the vocal home support, prove too good for Djokovic and his partner Nenad Zimonjic winning 6-4, 6-4 in one hour 13 minutes.