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  • San Jose - Verdasco, Del Potro reach quarterfinal

    2/11/11 8:14 PM | Kelli DeMario
    San Jose - Verdasco, Del Potro reach quarterfinal Defending champion Fernando Verdasco reached the final eight at the SAP Open, following his straight-set victory over Ivo Karlovic late Thursday. Juan Martin Del Potro also advanced, having taken out Lukas Lacko in straight sets.

    (1) Fernando Verdasco def. Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 7-5

    Top seed Fernando Verdasco made the quarterfinal, after downing hard serving Ivo Karlovic in straight sets. The Spaniard weathered a familiar storm of aces, securing service breaks at 5-5 in both sets. Verdasco turned in a strong service performance, having held 12 games without facing a break point.

    “With (Karlovic) I think every match is pretty similar,” Verdasco explained. “He serves unbelievable and then you just need to get the few chances you have with his serve. I did it today, and I’m happy because I think it’s the first time I beat him on indoor hard court.”

    Verdasco will take on Denis Istomin for a place in the semifinal. The fifth seed came through his round of 16 match against veteran Michael Russell, 7-6(7), 7-6(4).

    Juan Martin Del Potro def. Lukas Lacko 6-1, 7-6(1)

    Former World No. 4 Juan Martin Del Potro made his first quarterfinal in more than a year, after defeating Lukas Lacko in straight sets. The 22-year-old started strongly, taking a 3-0 edge in the opening set. Del Potro went to a tie-break after losing a break lead at 3-2 in the second set. The Argentine regrouped in the tie-break to earn five match points at 6-1. He completed the effort with 9 aces and 89% of his first-service points won.

    “Every morning when I wake up I feel very different sensations with my body, with my mind, but I’m happy to be in the tournament again since a year out,” Del Potro said, after the match. “I’m improving my game slowly, but I’m still improving, so that’s important for the future, for the season too.

    “I don't know if I'll be Top 10 again, but I'm working to get as good as I can. My wrist is getting better day by day.”

    He is slated to face Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinal. The veteran Australian rallied to upend Brian Dabul in the round of 16, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

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