BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Once again in front of 14,000 euphoric fans, Juan Martin del Potro recorded a routine 61 62 61 victory over Marin Cilic on Sunday to seal Argentina’s place in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals. Right after that match, Juan Monaco defeated Antonio Veic by 61 61 to close the final score 4-1.
Argentina will be at home again in the World Group semifinals in September when they will host Czech Republic. The Europeans lead the head-to-head 3-1.
Del Potro seems to feel no better in any other place than in Mary Teran de Weiss Stadium, where the Argentine player has won all of the five matches he played here, everyone in straight sets, only giving away 31 games. They were amazing performances.
The world No. 10, who also won in straight sets against Ivo Karlovic on Friday, needed just 2 hours 19 minutes to dispatch Cilic, much to the delight of the home fans packed inside the stadium at Parque Roca. Curiously Del Potro took exactly the same time to beat both players.
As the outcome was exactly as expected, even beside sickness that diminished Del Potro’s condition, the Tandil native expressed his relief not only after the match on court, but also with his own words.
“Yes, it wasn’t easy for me. The crowd was very important. It’s always amazing when you get a victory to go through, in your country. We have a good team this year to fight for the Davis Cup. I am really glad, and the whole team is happy this weekend”.
The Croatian No. 1 had already played ten sets this weekend – beating David Nalbandian in a marathon singles clash before falling in the doubles with Karlovic – and those past exertions looked like they took their toll as Del Potro dominated from the outset.
“I could see he was feeling tired, but I focused on my game, and I played very well”, said Del Potro.
Always in a good mood no matter what the result was, Cilic agreed with the Argentine. “In the end, I have to say that it was too much three days in a row, but I think Juan played a really good match, very solid and didn’t give any points for free. I had to play aggressive because of course my legs were tired. Anyway, if I would have been at a 100 percent it would also be a tough match”.
Argentina went into the reverse singles rubbers with a crucial 2-1 lead, following an epic five-set doubles win for Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank on Saturday in a match that could easily have gone either way.
That result swung the momentum in the home team’s favour and allowed Del Potro to finish off Croatia.
“This third day action was easier than the first two days, because of the category Del Potro has. I think he is, perhaps, one of the best five or six players in the world. We expected a difficult opponent before the tie and it was like that”, conclude Argentina’s captain Martin Jaite.
Captain Martin Jaite (ARG) - 08/04/2012
Captain Zeljko Krajan (CRO) - 08/04/2012
Marin Cilic (CRO) - 08/04/2012
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) - 08/04/2012