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Mixed Fortunes In Madrid For Last Week's Winners

Madrid, Spain

del Potro© Getty ImagesJuan Martin del Potro reached the Madrid semi-finals on his last appearance in 2009.

Two days after winning his ninth ATP World Tour title at the Estoril Open, Juan Martin del Potro made a successful start to his Mutua Madrid Open campaign on Tuesday. The Argentine overcame a mid-match injury scare to oust Russian No. 11 seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the first round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tennis tournament.

Having blitzed Youzhny with two breaks of serve to claim the opening set, del Potro pulled up with a left hip injury in the fourth game of the second set. After receiving treatment, the Argentine lost his serve and an encouraged Youzhny capitalised to level the match. Del Potro struck back in the third set, though, having worked through the injury, and broke serve in the fourth game before claiming victory in two hours and seven minutes.

"I feel good, happy because of winning. Now it’s just my hip is bothering me a bit," explained del Potro. "It’s a pain that I've had since Estoril and maybe it could be because it has been a long time since I played on clay. I always want to win and I think of winning no matter the amount of pain and it's a type of pain that allows me to play. It’s a Masters 1000 where there are lot of people looking at me to do the best I can and that’s why I continued on the court, because I knew I could win the match."

The 22-year-old del Potro is playing in Madrid for the first time since 2009, when he defeated Andy Murray to reach the semi-finals. He next faces Croatian Marin Cilic.

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Another tournament winner last week, Nikolay Davydenko, did not make the fast turnaround with the same success. The Russian, who won his 21st ATP World Tour title on Sunday in Munich, was beaten by Spanish wild card Marcel Granollers 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 35 minutes.

German Florian Mayer, who finished runner-up to Davydenko in Munich, was more fortunate, coming from a set down to upset Serbian No. 16 seed Viktor Troicki 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. He next will face Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who dismissed Spanish wild card Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-2.

Frenchman Gilles Simon set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Andy Murray after winning 80 per cent of points on first serve as he defeated 2005 runner-up Ivan Ljubicic 7-5, 7-6(8) in just under two hours. Murray and Simon clashed three weeks ago at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where Murray won in straight sets.

Meanwhile, World No. 2 Novak Djokovic learned the identity of his opening second-round opponent when South African Kevin Anderson defeated Belgian lucky loser Olivier Rochus 6-2, 6-4 in 72 minutes.

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