ROTTERDAM (Feb. 14, 2013) — No. 2 seed Juan Martin del Potro had his hands full as a resurgent Ernests Gulbis clawed his way into the first set, before the Argentine eventually won 7-6(5), 6-3.
“It was a real battle”, Del Potro stated. “I played well, but had a hard time.”
Gulbis, a former top-25 player, revealed earlier this week that he feels he can break into the top 20 this season. And Del Potro agrees. ”I think Gulbis will be in the top twenty soon”, Del Potro complimented his opponent. “I’ve known him for quite a while now, because we are both 24 years old, but he’s a talented player and I’m sure he will return to the top.”
Roger Federer also made quick work of Thiemo De Bakker, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals, but not before paying his own respect to the Dutchman. “Thiemo de Bakker served good, he is an excellent player,” stated Federer. “He can be much higher on the ATP-ranking than he is now. ”
Martin Klizan, Marcos Baghdatis and Jarkko Nieminen also advanced to the quarterfinals, which begin tomorrow.
In doubles, leading 6-4, 1-0, the team of Marray/Fleming were forced to retire against Lindstedt/Zimonjic when Marray experienced severe right calf muscle pain.
(Gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Rick Gleijm.)