Chardy shocks Del Potro

  • Last Updated: January 19 2013, 9:14 GMT

Sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro is out of the Australian Open after losing in five sets to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

Jeremy Chardy: Defeated Juan Martin del Potro
Jeremy Chardy: Defeated Juan Martin del Potro

The powerful Argentinian was beaten 6-3 6-3 6-7 (7/3) 3-6 6-3 in three hours and 45 minutes, a result that removes a dangerous high-ranking opponent from Andy Murray's section of the draw.

Chardy, the world number 36, used his big forehand to whip 44 winners and 20 aces past the former US Open champion.

The 25-year-old hit a total of 78 winners during the match at the Hisense Arena, where he raced into a two-set lead thanks to three breaks of serve.

Del Potro, however, recovered to level matters and force a deciding set.

The key moments of the fifth set came in games five and eight, with Del Potro missing out on a break point opportunity in the former - a game that required five deuces to settle its outcome.

And in the eighth game, Chardy secured the decisive and only break of the set, before holding his serve to 15 to seal an impressive triumph with an ace.

Chardy admitted: "I think it's maybe my best win because it's in a Grand Slam at the Australian Open and against a top player."

Chardy now faces Italian Andreas Seppi - the 21st seed - in the last 16.

Seppi shocked the 12th seed Marin Cilic in five sets 6-7(7-2) 6-3 2-6 6-4 6-2.

These two results - on paper at least - could help Murray's passage in the tournament with the Scot now an even bigger favourite to reach the last four in Melbourne.

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