It was a long but successful first day of the summer hardcourt season for Juan Martin Del Potro. The 2009 US Open champion and 2-time Washington winner began his bid for a third title in the nation’s capital on Wednesday by winning two matches, beating both youngsters Ryan Harrison and Bernard Tomic without the loss of a set.
“For the start of my hard-court season, I think it was a really good day,” said Del Potro who’s Wednesday match with Harrison was postponed due to rain. “I beat two young players with big potential.”
Tonight it’s a big step up for Delpo in size and in age against the 6-foot-8 27-year-old Kevin Anderson. the big-serving Anderson, a winner over Mardy Fish, is in the midst of his best season and this past Sunday probably should have won the Atlanta title over John Isner – Kevin was a dreadful 0/11 on break chances. So this should be a good test for the Argentine.
Speaking of Isner, who had his coming out party at the 2007 Washington event, he avenged his NCAA finals loss to Somdev Devvarman to set a meeting today with Marcos Baghdatis. Baghdatis ended a 12-match losing streak – that’s right 12! – earlier in the week then yesterday followed up crushing the No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-2.
Also winning two matches yesterday was 35-year-old Tommy Haas. The German finished off Tim Smyczek then in three ousted Ivan Dodig. He’ll now gets Grigor Dimitrov in a good one.
The disappointments continued for Milos Raonic. The Canadian fireballer who many pick to become a star crashed out to Marinko Matosevic. Since his San Jose title, Raonic has reached just one single quarterfinal, that a semifinal in Barcelona this April. With his confidence wavering, Raonic now heads home to Canada for the most important event on his calendar.
In Carlsbad, Martina Hingis made a successful return to doubles Wednesday night, she’s back on court today. Also in quarterfinal action are Ana Ivanovic, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Agenieszka Radwanska who plays Sam Stosur.
Tennis Channel and ESPN2 will have tag-team coverage of both events.
FRIDAY WASHINGTON SCHEDULE
STADIUM COURT start 1:00 pm
D Tursunov (RUS) vs M Matosevic (AUS) – ATP
Not Before 4:00 PM
 J Isner (USA) vs  M Baghdatis (CYP) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 T Haas (GER) vs  G Dimitrov (BUL) – ATP
Not Before 9:15 PM
 [WC] J Del Potro (ARG) vs  K Anderson (RSA) – ATP
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Juan Martin Del Potro Has Won 12 Straight Matches In Washington, Plays Haas Tonight
Grigor Dimitrov Hit Another Spectacular Shot Last Night In Washington [Video]
Nalbandian v Blake in Washington; Harrison, Isner Also in Action
If Grigor Dimitrov Wants To Shed His “Showtime” Nickname, He Needs To Stop Winning Points Like This [Video]
Murray Needs Three In Debut At Brisbane, Serena Stomps Stephens, Gets Azarenka Tonight; Tomic In Tune