Del Potro survives qualifier scare
October 09 2017 11:27 PM
dep potro
Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina whips a backhand during his win over Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia at the Shanghai Masters yesterday. (Reuters)


Juan Martin del Potro saved four break points in the decider to battle past Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili yesterday and reach the Shanghai Masters second round.
The Argentine, who prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, looked on course for a routine win after taking the first set in 23 minutes but world number 59 Basilashvili pounced on his errors in the next to level the match.
Attacking Del Potro’s serve at 4-4 in the third, Basilashvili earned four chances to break and serve for the match. But the 2013 finalist defended resolutely and switched gears to set up a meeting with Russian teenager Andrey Rublev.
South Korea’s Chung Hyeon eased past world number 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, last year’s runner-up, 6-4, 6-3 to equal the best victory of his career. World number 60 Chung, who beat David Goffin when the Belgian was ranked 13th in Montreal this year, next faces Richard Gasquet.
American qualifier Frances Tiafoe stunned Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4 and fired a warning to the experienced players on the Tour.  Also advancing to the next round were Feliciano Lopez who defeated big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6(1) 7-6(6) and Britain’s Kyle Edmund who downed Jiri Vesely 6-3 6-2. Roger Federer, the 2014 champion, starts his campaign tomorrow. The Swiss 19-times grand slam winner begins his campaign against the winner of today’s clash between Diego Schwartzman and Jordan Thompson.
Battling Stosur ‘100 percent’ after injury-hit year
Former US Open champion Sam Stosur declared she felt “100 percent” again after she battled into the second round of the WTA Hong Kong Open in three sets yesterday.
Stosur, who is on the comeback trail after suffering a stress fracture of her right hand in June when in tip-top form, appeared to be cruising at a set and 3-1 up against the unheralded Lee Ya-hsuan of Taiwan.
But the Australian dropped five of the next six games with a string of unforced errors to let the world number 303 take the set 6-4. Stosur, 33, drew on all her experience to race through the third set, cutting out the sloppy mistakes to progress 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. A resurgent Stosur earlier this year had looked to be approaching the form that took her to the US Open crown in 2011, winning in Strasbourg this May. She followed up in June by reaching the last 16 of the French Open where she was only edged out in a three-set epic by the eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko. But soon after X-rays revealed the damage to her troublesome right hand was a bone fracture and she had to take a complete break.
The only seeded player in action on day one in Hong Kong, China’s number two Zhang Shuai, wasted little time and energy in crushing her Japanese opponent Kurumi Nara with a “double bagel” 6-0, 6-0.

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