US OPEN 2013
Del Potro Backs Hewitt US Open Run
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Juan Martin del Potro backed 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt to make another run at the US Open after bowing out to the gritty Australian in dramatic style on Friday night in New York.
The 32-year-old Hewitt rolled back the years on Arthur Ashe Stadium as he recorded his first Top 10 win at the US Open since he beat No. 7 Yevgeny Kafelnikov and No. 10 Pete Sampras to win his first major title 12 years ago.
The Australian’s last notable Grand Slam performance came four years ago at Wimbledon, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Roddick) having beaten del Potro in the second round.
“I like it when he's winning and when he's doing well and he's healthy,” said del Potro. “If he plays like that, he has a chance to go far in this tournament. Of course, I wish all the best to him. We have a good relationship. He's a very good player to play.”
Buy Tickets | TV Schedule
Del Potro looked to have taken control of the match when he opened up a two-sets-to-one lead, having saved two set points in the second set. But unforced errors crept back into the Argentine’s game again in the fourth and fifth sets and Hewitt capitalised to end the 2009 champion’s campaign prematurely.
“I think I was lucky in the second set to come back,” admitted del Potro. “I won the second, the third. In the fourth, we both played really well. In the tie-break I made good forehands, good backhands, and he made fantastic passing shots to win the tie-break. I think he deserved to play the fifth.
“I made some [mistakes], some double faults in important moments, and he was there taking all the chances. He played really, really good.”
The 24-year-old del Potro had been on course for a quarter-final clash with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, with whom he contested a riveting semi-final match at Wimbledon two months ago. The Tandil native was looking to reach his first Grand Slam final since his shock win at the US Open four years ago (d. Federer).
“I'm not angry now. A little sadness, but it is normal,” said del Potro. “I just finished the match. It is my favourite tournament and I go home tomorrow. That's the worst part of this sport. But when you play against these guys and they deserve to win, you cannot do anything.”
- Best Off-Court Moments: Federer Visits South Africa, Delpo Meets The Pope
- 2013 By The Numbers: Match Wins and Ranking Improvements
- 2013 By The Numbers: First-Time Winners, Qualifiers, and Doubles
- Del Potro Wins Argentina’s Sportsman Of The Year Award
- 2013 By The Numbers: Titles By Rank, Age, And Other Statistics
- Hot Shots Of 2013: Top 5