Juan Martin del Potro maintained his record of always reaching the second round of The Championships on Tuesday when he beat #NextGenATP Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 in three hours and three minutes.
The No. 29 seed from Argentina, who reached the 2013 semi-finals (l. to Djokovic) and is making his eighth appearance at the All England Club, will next challenge Ernests Gulbis, who committed just 19 unforced errors and saved all six break points he faced in beating Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in 88 minutes.
Del Potro, who was contesting his 50th grass-court match of his career (35-15), opened up a 3-0 lead in the first set and appeared to be in control of Kokkinakis, but the Australian broke to 15 for a 5-3 lead in the second set and grew in confidence. Del Potro recovered from a 1-3 deficit in the third set, which saw Kokkinakis save one set point on serve at 4-5, Ad-Out. Del Potro’s greater groundstroke power began to tell, and he finally sealed his 14th match win of the year on his seventh match point chance.
Both players have had to overcome major injury woes. Del Potro has undergone three wrist surgeries, while Kokkinakis has undergone right shoulder surgery and abdominal issues to play only a handful of matches since 2015.
Earlier in the day, Spain’s David Ferrer, who is unseeded at a major championship for the first time since the 2005 Australian Open, won 19 of his 20 service games in a confidence-boosting 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 win over French No. 22 seed Richard Gasquet, who was denied his 100th major match win. It was their first grass-court meeting and 2012-13 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ferrer now leads 10-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Watch Highlights
Tomas Berdych was tested by Jeremy Chardy in their two hour, 22-minute match, but the No.11 seed prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. The 2010 runner-up hit 47 winners and capitalised on both of his break point chances to advance to the second round, where he will face American Ryan Harrison.
Gael Monfils, the No.15 seed, was a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 winner over Germany’s Daniel Brands in 94 minutes. The Frenchman won 80 per cent of points on his first serve to set a second-round clash with Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund.