>Marcos Baghdatis was going to be a difficult opponent for the returning Juan Martin del Potro. The outcome entirely depended on if Marcos had found some form – and he had. The Cypriot won 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 42 minutes
The opening set was a white wash as Juan Martin seemed to struggle with the very loud crowd that had accumulated to support Marcos. It was a new and improved Marcos who took to the court, significantly more toned than he has been in recent years was playing with aggression and accuracy on his side as the giant Argentine looked somewhat confused and at odds for a solution.
Marcos took the quick first set 6-1 in just 33 minutes.
During the second set, Juan Martin was defending break points in the third game when he went to serve. He tossed the ball and stopped. He adjusted his wrist band. I thought it was odd but maybe it was a bad ball toss. He tossed the ball again and as he struck the ball his racquet flew out of his hand and Baghdatis broke him. Juan Martin was grimacing.
It wasn’t long before the physio and the doctor were on court. As del Potro tentatively put his wrist band back on everyone watched closely waiting to see what would happen next and if it was only a matter of time until he retired.
He played a better but tentative second set, repeatedly being attended to by the physio who continued to mobilise his wrist joint during the breaks.
The third set saw Juan Martin come out swinging and Marcos drop his intensity off slightly. After nearly ten minutes of play the Argentine managed to consolidate a break of serve. Eventually Marcos broke back despite serving just 45% of first serves in compared to Juan Martin’s 72%. Again del Potro broke for a 5-4 lead as Marcos faltered and then he claimed the set 6-4 after 43 minutes.
After Marcos had his calf rubbed by the physio he came back out on court and accelerated towards the finish line.
It was a great effort from the big man and hopefully his wrist will be fine but it doesn’t create much hope of a seamless return to the top.