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August 6, 2009

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Home » Sports » Tennis

Del Potro battles back to oust Lu, Cilic stunned

DEFENDING champion Juan Martin del Potro came from a set down to beat Chinese Taipei's Lu Yen-sun on Tuesday and advance to the round of 16 at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington.

The Argentine, seeded second, was given a bye to the second round where he met a more match-conditioned Lu and it showed in the opening set before del Potro recovered to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The main upset of the day was qualifier Somdev Devvarman of India ousting sixth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-5, 6-4 to also make the last 16. In the only other second-round matches, Tomas Berdych, the eighth-seeded Czech, downed Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 7-6 (8) and Germany's Tommy Haas edged past Canadian Frank Dancevic 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

In a match that started late on Tuesday night and ended well past midnight, del Potro lost the opening set after dropping his serve at 3-3. He stormed back with his own break at 4-3 in the second and after breaking Lu to open the third, the 2008 champion finished off the long night by winning 16 of 18 service points.

Devvarman, who was a surprise quarterfinalist in this event last year, recorded his first-ever win over a top-20 player and rated the defeat of Cilic as the most significant victory in his career.

Cilic, who defeated Devvarman in the final in Chennai, India, in January, unofficially had 35 unforced errors, also showing some rustiness after a first-round bye.

"It was the final of a tour event, I wasn't as nervous coming out," Devvarman said of the difference between the two matches. "I also knew that it was the first match he was playing this week and I already had three under my belt. That's always a good feeling to bring to the match."

Haas, after cruising in the first set, went down 1-4 in the second before winning three straight games, but left the door open by failing to convert any of five break points in the next game. Dancevic held and then broke Haas to win the set.

"Next thing you know it's the third set and it's a battle," Haas said. "Anything can happen in the third set. He started to believe that maybe he could win. But somehow I hung in there, played some good points at the right time."

Haas broke at 3-3 in the final set to close out the match.

In first-round matches, Germany's Benjamin Becker beat American Robby Ginepri 7-6 (3), 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4) to advance to a meeting with top-seeded Andy Roddick. Roddick.

Former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain beat Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-0.


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