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By Chris Oddo | Wednesday January 10, 2018

Juan Martin del Potro

2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro stormed past Denis Shapovalov to kick off his 2018 in style.

Photo Source: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

He came. He saw. He conquered.

Juan Martin del Potro avenged a loss last year at Canada and rolled past Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, 6-2, 6-4, too book his spot in the ASB quarterfinals at Auckland, New Zealand.

The second-seeded Argentine will move on to face Russia’s Karen Khachanov in his first appearance at the event since he won the title in 2009.

It didn't take long to realize that Shapovalov would struggle to find the magic that saw him stun the Argentine in straight sets en route to becoming the youngest semifinalist in Masters 1000 history last August in Montreal.

Del Potro broke open the match after a close start by claiming the final four games of the opening set. As Shapovalov’s error count started to rise, the Argentine continued to hammer away. He finished with eight aces and did not face a break point, while converting all three of the break points he earned against the 18-year-old.

Del Potro hit six winners against 11 unforced errors, while Shapovalov tossed in 20 winner and 40 unforced errors.

“I was surprised by the match today,” said del Potro. “I didn’t expect to play at this level in the first match of the year. But I’ve been working hard to play this tennis and hopefully I can still improve in the next matches.

In addition to reaching the quarterfinals Del Potro also assured himself of a spot in the ATP’s Top 10 next week. He will return to the elite group for the first time since 2014.


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