Del Potro crashes out in Melbourne

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iol spt jan16 Del Potro Reuters Juan Martin Del Potro became the first major casualty in the Australian Open men's draw when he was beaten by Spain's Roberto Bautista. Photo by: Jason Reed

Melbourne - Juan Martin Del Potro became the first major casualty in the Australian Open men's draw in the early hours of Friday morning when he was beaten 4-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5 by Spain's Roberto Bautista in the second round.

The fifth-seeded Argentine had shown signs that he might be returning to his best form with victory in the warm-up tournament in Sydney but succumbed in a three-hour 53-minute thriller on court two.

The extreme heat kept the former U.S. Open champion and his 62nd-ranked opponent off court until 9.25pm local time and they treated the crowd to an exciting match in which they combined for 100 unforced errors and 125 winners.

Bautista went for his shots to win the latter count 72-53 and took his place in the third round at a grand slam tournament for the first time when the exhausted world number five netted. – Reuters


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