Del Potro reaches Australian Open Tennis quarter-finals
MELBOURNE: Argentine eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro survived a thorough examination from fellow hotshot Marin Cilic to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday.
Del Potro recovered from a set down to grind out an attritional win in scorching conditions, taking it 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in just over three hours.
At 20, he becomes the youngest quarter-finalist since Richard Krajicek in 1992 and faces a showdown with either triple champion Roger Federer or Tomas Berdych.
The Argentine, who retired in round two on his both previous visits here, has now reached two consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals after last year''s US Open.
Del Potro won 23 matches in a row before meeting Britain''s Andy Murray at the US Open, incredibly winning his first four titles back-to-back as he set the tour alight.
The Argentine angrily swiped his racquet after going a set down as he struggled to impose himself on the match. But he dragged himself back into it and broke with a sweet backhand volley at 3-3 before levelling the match.
Both players exchanged breaks in a battling third set before del Potro again went ahead 5-4 and took the set lead with a service winner.
Cilic furiously hurled his racquet to the ground as del Potro got in front in the fourth, and it was a canter to the finish for the Argentine who converted the first match point with a service winner.
Del Potro and Cilic, the same age, were born five days days apart and are the same height (1.98m) and nearly the same weight (82 and 81 kilos respectively).
Both were unbeaten on tour heading into Sunday''s match with Del Potro winning the Auckland title and Cilic victorious in Chennai.