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Juan Martin del Potro leads Gilles Simon two sets to one in their fourth-round match at Wimbledon.

Delpo's QF Charge Put On Hold

Play was suspended due to darkness after Simon won the third set

Juan Martin del Potro will return to the court on Tuesday just a set away from earning a spot in his second Wimbledon quarter-final. The Argentine’s fourth-round match against French veteran Gilles Simon was suspended due to darkness Monday evening with the fifth seed leading 7-6(1), 7-6(5), 5-7. The winner will face World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the last eight. 

Del Potro is attempting to become the third Argentine (also Guillermo Vilas and David Nalbandian) to earn a spot in the quarter-finals of each Grand Slam multiple times. This year’s BNP Paribas Open champion recently matched his career-high ATP Ranking of No. 4. And if he is able to navigate to the semi-finals at the All England Club, will climb to a career-best No. 3.

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It appeared that the 29-year-old would be able to move into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets victory, after he recovered from a 1-4 deficit to 4-4 in the third set using his powerful forehand. But despite a third consecutive tie-break looking inevitable, Simon earned a set point on his opponent’s serve. Del Potro let an innocent-looking return deep down the middle go without making an attempt at it, and the Tata Open Maharashtra champion’s shot landed right on the chalk, sending the match to a fourth set.

Simon is pursuing his second quarter-final at SW19, which would make him the seventh Frenchman to advance to multiple Wimbledon quarter-finals in the Open Era.

Del Potro leads the pair's FedEx ATP Head2Head series 4-3, and has triumphed in all three of their grass-court meetings. In their first match since the 2016 MercedesCup, both players have struggled to convert their break-point chances, with the Argentine breaking twice from 15 opportunities and Simon going three of 10. 

The Frenchman has done a good job frustrating Del Potro at times with his flat counter-punching, eliciting 47 unforced errors. But he will have to do a better job protecting his second serve against the powerful groundstrokes of the Argentine, who has captured 61 per cent of those points. If the match should go to a fifth set, Del Potro is 7-9 in five-setters, while Simon is 19-12.

Did You Know?
If Del Potro advances to the quarter-finals, it will be the first time he reaches back-to-back major quarter-finals since 2012 when he did it at the Australian Open and Roland Garros.

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