BNP PARIBAS MASTERS 2013
Ferrer Opens Title Defence; Del Potro Advances
by ATP Staff|
Defending champion David Ferrer was made to work hard for a place in the third round of the BNP Paribas Masters on Wednesday in Paris. The Spaniard battled past Lukas Rosol 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 in 87 minutes, breaking serve six times as he improved to a 3-0 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry.
Ferrer won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown last year at the Palais Omnisports with victory over Jerzy Janowicz in the final. The 32 year old has already secured his place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and is looking to win his third title of the year.
The Valencia native, who has a 57-20 match record in 2013, is coming off successive runner-up showings in Stockholm (l. to Dimitrov) and Valencia (l. to Youzhny). He goes on to face 15th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon, who fought past countryman Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) in just under three hours.
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Juan Martin del Potro withstood 19 aces as he defeated Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-6(3) to reach the third round. The Argentine has won 14 of his past 15 matches, capturing the titles in Tokyo (d. Raonic) and Basel (d. Federer) and finishing runner-up in Shanghai (l. to Djokovic), and is one win away from his 50th victory of the season.
"I'm confident with my game, and in the important moments I played solid," said del Potro. "I was just trying to find a way to hit my forehand, and I think I did a good job today.
"I think I'm playing fantastic tennis. I have won four tournaments [for the first time]. I'm back in the Top 5 after three years and a half, and I made the semi-finals at Wimbledon. I'm playing really good at the moment, reaching three finals in a row, which is fantastic for me. My forehand is working really good. My serve has improved tournament by tournament, and I'm really glad with my level at this moment."
The 25-year-old del Potro is attempting to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown after three runner-up efforts. For a place in the quarter-finals, he will face Grigor Dimitrov, who finished strongly to defeat 16th seed Fabio Fognini 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in one hour and 52 minutes. Dimitrov has also been in good form of late, winning his first ATP World Tour title in Stockholm (d. Ferrer) and reaching the Basel quarter-finals (l. to Federer).
American John Isner set a third-round clash with second seed Novak Djokovic after edging qualifier Michal Przysiezny 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3 in just under two hours. Isner fired 27 aces and won 80 per cent of his service points as he claimed his 39th win of the season. The 28 year old defeated Djokovic in their last meeting in the Cincinnati quarter-finals in August, but trails their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-3.
Final Showdown Contenders Keep Pace
‘Polish Power’ Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski stayed one step ahead of Barclays ATP World Tour Finals rivals Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau as both teams posted first-round wins.
Fyrstenberg and Matkowski, in eighth place in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, defeated Kenny De Schepper and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6(6), while ninth-placed Mirnyi and Tecau edged Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt 7-6(3), 7-6(5). The top eight teams will qualify for the season finale in London.
Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer will open their Paris campaign against Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic, who defeated Lukas Dlouhy and Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 7-5, 10-7. Qureshi and Rojer are close to qualifying for the Final Showdown for the second year in a row.