Saturday January 12, 2013
Del Potro crushes Baghdatis to set up Hewitt date
MELBOURNE: Argentine Juan Martin del Potro crushed Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-1 to reach the final of the Kooyong Classic yesterday, where he will face home favourite Lleyton Hewitt.
Cypriot Baghdatis, an Australian Open finalist in 2006, was left flat-footed on a windy day at the former home of the Australian Open as he went down with more than 20 unforced errors in his abbreviated appearance.
Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner who has twice reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park, kept his mistakes to fewer than 10 in the rout at the tune-up event prior to Monday’s start of the first major of the season. Once he got his big serve going and found his feet in the blowing, hot conditions, there was little hope for Baghdatis, who commands a huge fan base in multi-ethnic Melbourne.
Del Potro dominated in the closing stages, winning eight of the last nine games as he unleashed his arsenal in the one-way second set: “It’s a nice court to play on, and this week is very good preparation for the Open. It’s important to be winning matches,” he said.
“I improved a bit today but I need to do that even more for next week if I want to have a chance to win.” — AFP