NEW YORK (Reuters) – Argentine Juan Martin del Potro overpowered American Denis Kudla 6-3 6-1 7-6(4) in the U.S. Open second round on Wednesday, delivering a near flawless performance and serving notice that the injury-plagued 2009 champion is in top form.
Aug 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina reaches for a forehand against Denis Kudla of the United States (not pictured) in the second round on day three of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Showing no ill-effects from the wrist injuries that have dogged him in recent years, Del Potro thumped down 20 aces, won 85 percent of his first-serve points and never faced a break point in a match lasting less than two hours.
By the time the overwhelmed Kudla began to find his form in the third set it was too little too late.
The world number 72 held serve six times to set up the third-set tiebreaker and fended off three match points but despite the backing of the New York crowd, he sent a backhand wide to punch Del Potro’s ticket to the third round.
Next up for Del Potro is either Briton Andy Murray or Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Ed Osmond