ACAPULCO, Mexico – Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, world No. 9, beat Spain’s David Ferrer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 Wednesday night in an epic battle to move to the quarterfinals of the Mexico Open tennis tournament in Acapulco.
In a match lasting two hours and 24 minutes, the two players fought it out with a fine display of tennis on the center court in what was arguably the best match of the tournament yet.
Del Potro, seeded sixth, broke Ferrer’s serve in the 10th game of the first set to take it 6-4, but Ferrer broke back in the second, only to be broken again by the Argentine to level scores at 4-4.
Ferrer showed his fighting spirit by immediately breaking back and then taking the set 6-4 on his serve.
The third set saw a fierce clash, marking the match as the best of the competition yet, with Ferrer saving a break point in the fourth game and Del Potro finally getting the break in the sixth.
However, with Del Potro leading 5-3 and serving for the match, Ferrer refused to bow down and managed to get two break points with brilliant returns and crafty play.
Del Potro used his lethal serve to win straight points and get an advantage, before forcing the Spaniard to hit long to win the match.
“It was a big battle for both. I played well in the third set, holding my serve in the last game of the match, and I think I did really well tonight,” Del Potro said, who moves on to play Austria’s third seed Dominic Thiem, whom he has beaten three times.
“First I need to recover a little bit, and then try to play even better than tonight,” Del Potro said.
Thiem made light work of Canadian Denis Shapovalov – considered one of the brightest young talents on the tour – by beating him 6-3, 6-3 to book his spot in the last eight.
The other half of the draw saw Spain’s Feliciano Lopez employ his lethal serve to beat Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4 and set up a quarterfinal match with American Jared Donaldson.
South Korean Hyeon Chung beat US player Ernesto Escobedo 6-3, 6-1 to set up a last-eight clash with South African Kevin Anderson, who defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-4.