Del Potro, Haas advance; No. 6 Cilic upset at Legg Mason

August 5, 2009 07:28 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Qualifier Somdev Devvarman of India recorded the biggest win of his career Tuesday, upsetting No. 6 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

Defending champion and No. 2 seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina avoided another upset, as did 10th-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany. Del Potro rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu in the second round, and Haas also won his second-round match, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 over Canada’s Frank Dancevic.

No. 8 seed Czech Tomas Berdych defeated Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 7-6 (6) to move into the third round.

Asked if his first career win over a top-20 player was his most significant victory, Devvarman said, “Definitely, definitely.”

The 2007 and 2008 NCAA men’s singles champion at Virginia and surprise quarterfinalist in this event last year, Devvarman broke serve twice in each set and was able extend rallies against Cilic despite having played matches in four consecutive days.

“When I’m playing well, I like hitting the ball deep,” Devvarman said. “I felt like today I did that very well.”

Cilic, who defeated Devvarman in the finals at a tournament in Chennai, India in January, unofficially had 35 unforced errors in his opening match of the tournament after receiving 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.”

In a match that started late Tuesday night and ended well past midnight, del Potro lost the opening set of the match and his hard court season after dropping his serve at 3-all. 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.

“I felt no pressure in defending the Legg Mason Tennis Classic title,” said del Potro, who improved to 35-10 on the year. “It’s just another match.”

After cruising in the first set, Haas went down 1-4 in the second before winning three straight games, but he left the door open by failing to convert on any of his five break point chances on Dancevic’s next service 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. I think 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 serve at 3-all in the final set and closed out the match, one he was not aware that he was going to play until he awoke Tuesday morning.

“I didn’t think I was going to play until (Wednesday) because that’s what I was originally told,” said Haas, who reached the semifinals in this event last year. “So when I looked at the schedule this morning online when I woke up, I was shocked to see myself playing at 7 p.m. I switched my whole game plan today. …Overall, I guess now I have a day off tomorrow, which is kind of nice.”

Germany’s Benjamin Becker beat American Robby Ginepri 7-6 (3), 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4) to advance to the second round, where he will face top-seeded Andy Roddick. Roddick, a three-time Washington champion who hasn’t played since his loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, said Monday he’s recovered from the right hip flexor he sustained in the July 5 match.

“It’s going to be the first match for him of the hard court season,” said Becker, who lost both previous matches against Roddick. “It’s going to be a fun match for me. I am just going to try to do some damage.”

In a matchup of former top-10 ranked players, former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain beat Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-0, crediting the win to his ability to thwart eight break points.

“I saved a lot of break points with the serve and it was one of the keys to (stay) alive,” said Ferrero, who will face countryman and No. 7 seed Tommy Robredo in the second round.

In other first-round matches, qualifier Sebastien De Chaunac of France defeated Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-3, 7-6 (7); and Germany’s Rainer Schuettler beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

 

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