Mikhail Kukushkin, the world number 66, beat the defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro in two tie breaker sets 7-6(5), 7-6(3) at the Apia International in Sydney.
After the match Del Potro stated that he had served well but that his wrist had hurt a little more than the previous day, which prevented him from hitting the ball as hard as he would have liked.
In his previous match, he overcame his first top 20 player in only his second match after being away from the tour since the Dubai Open in February last year. Del Potro came from a set behind to beat the temperamental Fabio Fognini of Italy 4-6, 6-2; 6-2. It was encouraging.
Watching the 2009 US Open champion hit forehand winners from the baseline is delightful and surely strikes immense uncertainty into any opponents who might find themselves in his half of the Australian open draw.
A fully fit Del Potro has the weaponry to beat any players on the tour. It is such a pity that such a great player has been hampered by wrist injuries.
here is no doubt that a player of his quality, if he had not sustained these injuries, may have added more Grand Slam trophies to his trophy cabinet.
At the 2009 US Open the Argentine beat Rafael Nadal in the semi-final and Roger Federer in the final. This was the first time that these two great players were beaten by the same player in a Grand Slam tournament ever.
The mental strength, shown in that final, to come back from two sets to one down, and beat Roger Federer, should be written into tennis folklore.
Is now the time for Del Potro to upset the balance once again?
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