Sixth-seeded Del Potro first big casualty at Australian Open

  • Associated Press
  • Friday, January 18, 2013 11:41pm
  • SportsSports

MELBOURNE, Australia — Sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro became the first major casualty of the Australian Open when he lost in five sets Saturday to Jeremy Chardy of France.

The 6-foot-6 Argentinian, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, had only dropped 13 games in two matches before facing Chardy — the fewest number of all the men — until his 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 3-6, 6-3 third-round defeat.

Chardy won the first two sets and, after del Potro rallied to level at two-all, got the crucial break in the eighth game of the fifth set and then held to clinch the match, closing with an ace.

The 36th-ranked Frenchman frustrated del Potro with a mix of drop shots, well-angled forehands and backhand slices, one of which sent del Potro running into the stands in the third set.

Del Potro had been tipped as an outside contender for the title in the absence of 11-time major winner Rafael Nadal, but his loss leaves only leaves three Grand Slam winners in the men’s draw. Of those, Andy Murray advanced on Saturday, and Roger Federer was playing a night match. No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic continued his run toward a third consecutive Australian Open title with a third-round win on Friday night.

“Of course, it’s not a good result after I came back from two sets down, but Jeremy played really well in the fifth set,” he said. “He was so calm to close the match in the end.

“Jeremy played so strong during four hours. He made a lot of winners with the forehand, very good slices. In the end, when he had the chance to break me, he did. He played better in the important moments and he took the chance to win the match.”

Chardy had a win over No. 3-ranked Andy Murray at Cincinnati last year, but said the win over del Potro was a bigger personal achievement in the circumstances.

“Here it’s something more because Australian Open, third round, I play a top player,” he said. “It’s a big win for me. And maybe the best of my career.”

He will meet Andreas Seppi in the fourth round after the No. 21-seeded Italian beat No. 12 Marin Cilic.

More in Sports

Oak Harbor beats Arlington 13-7 in 3OT slugfest

The Wildcats clinch a Wesco 3A North playoff berth with the hard-fought, triple-overtime victory.

Friday’s prep football results

Conference championship races are tightening up. (VIDEO)

Seahawks place Avril on IR; Bennett listed as questionable

Injuries continue to mount for the Seahawks heading into Sunday’s game against the Giants in New York.

Silvertips fall to Warriors 6-3

Everett’s losing skid hits three games with the loss at home.

Sedro-Woolley dismantles Lakewood in 41-0 shutout

The Cougars couldn’t get going against the Cubs, but can still clinch a share of the NWC 2A title.

No. 15 WSU looking to bounce back against Colorado

The Cougars are ‘determined to improve’ after suffering their first loss to the season against Cal.

Week 8: Prep football stars of the night

Capassio Cherry, RB, Edmonds-Woodway Cherry, a senior, rushed for 205 yards on… Continue reading

Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7 in ALCS

Justin Verlander pitches seven shutout innings to keep Houston’s season alive.

REFLECTIONS: Silvertips drop third straight contest

The Game Everett Silvertips color commentator Justin Morrison (give him a follow)… Continue reading

Most Read