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Del Potro Scrapes Past Llodra; Tursunov Ousts Tipsarevic

Marseille, France

Gilles Simon© Yohan Brandt - Open 13Gilles Simon set a quarter-final clash with Juan Martin del Potro.

In a re-match of the 2012 final, defending champion Juan Martin del Potro scraped into the Open 13 quarter-finals Thursday in Marseille, edging France’s Michael Llodra 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 in two hours and 32 minutes.

The Argentine hit 14 aces and saved nine of the 10 break points he faced to improve to a perfect 5-0 record at this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tournament. Del Potro is on a six-match winning run, having come into Marseille on the back of victory at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Benneteau).

“It was very, very tough,” said del Potro. “It shows the level of the tournament is so high, that we played in the final last year and now in the first round. I think I played a very good level at the end of the match. He played well throughout the match. I needed luck to beat him today, because he deserved to win the match as well.”

For a place in the semi-finals, del Potro will face sixth seed Gilles Simon. The Frenchman, who lifted the Marseille trophy in 2007 (d. Baghdatis), defeated Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-3, 6-1 in 68 minutes in a match featuring 10 breaks of serve. The 28-year-old Simon is coming off a semi-final showing in Rotterdam (l. to Benneteau) and improved to a 10-4 match record.

Qualifier Dmitry Tursunov reached the quarter-finals as he upset fourth seed Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(4), 6-2 in 89 minutes. The Russian, who had not won a tour-level match this season coming into Marseille, saved the four break points he faced and broke Tipsarevic twice.

Former World No. 20 Tursunov, who has dropped to No. 119 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, last reached an ATP World Tour quarter-final in Tokyo in October 2012, when he was also a qualifier. The 30 year old reached the Marseille semi-finals on his last visit in 2011.

Tipsarevic suffered his second opening-round defeat in a row, having also fallen after a first-round bye in Montpellier two weeks ago (l. to Llodra). The Serb, who won the Aircel Chennai Open title in January (d. Bautista-Agut), dropped to a 7-3 mark in 2013.

Seventh seed Jerzy Janowicz beat Julien Benneteau 7-6(0), 6-3 to set a quarter-final clash with top-seeded Tomas Berdych

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