Del Potro in ruthless form
Juan Martin Del Potro boosted his hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a crushing 6-0 6-4 victory over a below-par Janko Tipsarevic.
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Serbian Tipsarevic has been struggling with illness and, after managing only four games against Roger Federer on Tuesday, he was clearly still less than 100 per cent as he was brushed aside by Del Potro.
Del Potro, from Argentina, lost to David Ferrer in his first match so badly needed a good win to keep him in contention, and he will reach the semi-finals if he beats Federer in two days' time.
The defending champion had secured his progress from Group B with a straight-sets win over Ferrer.
Del Potro, who was watched by friend and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, had never lost a set against Tipsarevic in three previous meetings and immediately set about maintaining that record with a run of six straight games.
Tipsarevic at least stopped the rot in the opening game of the second set but he was constantly under pressure on his serve and cracked again in the fifth game.
To the 28-year-old's credit, he continued fighting to the last and forced Del Potro to serve it out, but that proved to be no problem for the Argentinian, who wrapped up victory in an hour and 16 minutes.
Of the support of Aguero, the 24-year-old said: "He's a good soccer player. He is a really, really nice friend, a really nice guy. I think he enjoyed my match today, and also he can hit the ball really well."
Del Potro had hit with another Manchester City striker, Carlos Tevez, on the same court in 2009 while waiting to discover whether he had reached the semi-finals.
Tipsarevic has been struggling with illness for the past week but vowed to play his last match against Ferrer even though he now has no hope of qualifying.
The Serb said: "I'm playing horrible. I'm playing worse than horrible. I'm playing the worst tennis that I played in a long time. But I'm on the court, behaving good, not throwing my racquet, giving my best.
"I am generally feeling fine. The problem was that I was sick and I didn't play a lot of tennis lately.
"I feel sorry that I don't play my best tennis here in London, which is probably the best event of the year. But I fought hard to be in a position to come to this event. So I'll just do my best for one more match."