Roger-Vasselin sends del Potro out of Japan Open in first round
Issued on: Modified:
The Frenchman Roger-Vasselin, ranked 189, upset the Argentine US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-4 in 88 minutes in the first-round of the Japan Open.
AFP - US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro crashed out of the Japan Open in the first round on Tuesday, beaten by unseeded French qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
The 21-year-old Argentine top seed, playing his first match since his victory at Flushing Meadows last month, struggled throughout, losing 4-6, 4-6 in 88 minutes.
Del Potro, losing finalist here last year, is ranked number five in the world, compared with Roger-Vasselin's standing of 189.
"I didn't play my best tennis," del Potro lamented.
"I came here very close to the competition. Maybe I needed a few more days to be in shape, but the other guy played very good tennis, he took his opportunities, he (played) a very good match."
Roger-Vasselin fought evenly against the Argentine in the first set until the ninth game when del Potro double-faulted to give a 15-40 chance to the Frenchman.
Del Potro charged to the net on a short ball, only to see Roger-Vasselin fire a sizzling forehand cross-court passing shot to move one break up and then serve out the set.
Roger-Vasselin set up another 15-40 chance in the fifth game of the second set, which he won when del Potro's forehand landed in the net.
The Frenchman saved all six break points he faced and notched up his first victory over one of the world's top five-seeded players.
Del Potro blamed the loss on jet lag and a stomach problem. "Of course, I didn't play good tennis and that's the reason (I lost)."
Roger-Vasselin, 25, said confidence helped.
"I think the first reason was that I believed I could win. I said on the court 'why not today? Maybe he's not very confident in the first round,' so I took my chances. That's it," he said.
"I was a little bit tense at the beginning, my first-game serve was difficult, but after that I thought maybe I can beat him, because when there were rallies, I won the points."
"I served very good, I had a few break points on my serve, and every time I played a good serve, sometimes aces, sometimes serve and volleys. This is the key of the match. I did very well when I had break points on my serve."
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