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Del Potro Ends Harrison Campaign; Isner Advances

New York, U.S.A.

del Potro© Getty ImagesJuan Martin del Potro held off Ryan Harrison in four sets.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro held off American Ryan Harrison to reach the third round with a 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory on Friday at Flushing Meadows. The Argentine won 74 per cent of points on first serve and converted seven of his 10 break point chances to derail Harrison’s challenge in two hours and 34 minutes.

The 23-year-old del Potro won the US Open title in 2009, beating Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer back-to-back to become the first Argentine to triumph at Flushing Meadows since Guillermo Vilas in 1977. A right wrist injury set the Tandil native back the following year, but he has worked his way back up to World No. 8 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings having dropped as low as No. 485 in January 2011.

Del Potro has enjoyed a successful summer, winning a bronze medal for Argentina at the London 2012 Olympics and reaching the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Djokovic). He has a 50-13 match record on the season.

In an all-Argentine third-round contest, del Potro will face World No. 63 Leonardo Mayer, who overcame Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in three hours and seven minutes. The 25-year-old Mayer is through to the third round in New York for the first time in five attempts.

"My first round and today was a big challenge for me to see how my wrist is going and how my level is," said del Potro. "Always when you win matches everything is better. I'm happy to go through to the third round. I will have another tough match in the third round against Mayer. The tournament is getting worse every day and you have to be 100 per cent from here to the rest."

Top American John Isner, last week's Winston-Salem Open champion, kept up his run of form as he beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3. He improved to a 4-0 record against the Finn, whom he defeated for the first time at the 2007 US Open, and also snapped a five-match losing record against left-handed players in Grand Slam action.

Though Isner lost a tie-break set for just the 14th time this season (37-14), he broke serve four times from seven opportunities and struck 69 winners for the two-hour, 30-minute victory. "The third set was a little tricky," he admitted. "I was down two or three break points in that third set. Something clicked at 5-4 me, 40/15 him serving. I reeled off four straight points. I hit four great forehands and won that set and had the momentum from there."

The 27 year old is through to the third round for a fourth straight year at Flushing Meadows, and next meets German Philipp Kohlschreiber after the No. 19 seed battled past Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-7(4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) in three hours and 38 minutes. Kohlschreiber has not advanced beyond the third round in nine previous appearances at the US Open, while Isner reached the quarter-finals last year (l. to Murray).

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