Juan Martin del Potro will sleep well in his bed on Thursday night in Rome, after validating his recovery from a right knee injury by winning two matches in a day for a confidence boost, ahead of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals.
The popular seventh-seeded Argentine, contesting only his third ATP Tour event of 2019, produced a solid blend of power tennis in victories over David Goffin, earlier on Thursday, and in his dismantling of Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud’s game for a 6-4, 6-4 win over one hour and 36 minutes.
The 30-year-old saved two break points in the 52-minute first set, converting his third set point chance with a backhand winner. Two errors in three points from Ruud gifted Del Potro at 3-2 advantage in the second set, amidst roars from Grandstand when Roger Federer saved two match points against Borna Coric in the final set tie-break.
The 2009 and 2017 quarter-finalist, playing at the Foro Italico in Rome for the seventh time in his career, will now play World No. 1 and four-time former champion Novak Djokovic or Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.