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Istomin Ends Ferrer's Win Streak; Del Potro Awaits

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Istomin© Getty ImagesDenis Istomin ended David Ferrer's 11-match win streak on Tuesday.

Denis Istomin upset World No. 5 David Ferrer in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, handing the Spaniard just his second loss of the year with a 6-4, 6-3 win.

Istomin won 73 per cent of his second serve return points to break Ferrer four times in the 75-minute victory, denying the fifth seed his 20th win of the season and snapping his 11-match win streak.

The win marked Istomin’s first in 11 attempts against Top 10 opponents. He has been consistent thus far in 2012 with a 13-6 record, reaching his second ATP World Tour final in San Jose (l. to Raonic), the semi-finals in Sydney (l. to Nieminen) and quarter-finals in Brisbane (l. to Tomic).

In the round of 16, Istomin will square off against No. 9 seed Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine defeated 19th-seeded Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 7-6(6) in the first match on Stadium Court. Del Potro, a semi-finalist in Indian Wells last year, saved all six break points he faced to increase his head-to-head lead over Verdasco to a 3-1 mark.

"Verdasco is really difficult opponent, especially in the beginning rounds of the big tournaments," said del Potro. "He's very tough, very dangerous, and I think I made a good match. I [was] lucky in the second set when I saved five set points, and then in the tie-break, he made the double fault to give me my first match point. I got the opportunity and I took it."

Del Potro is bidding to win his second title this season, having captured his first indoor trophy in Marseille (d. Llodra).

In other third-round matches, World No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced with a 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-2 win over Czech Radek Stepanek and Argentine David Nalbandian defeated World No. 10 Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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