Playing his first match as the world number 3, Juan Martin del Potro has made a powerful start in Cincinnati, defeating Hyeon Chung 6-2 6-3 in an hour and 21 minutes for his 36th win of the season and 103rd at Masters 1000 level. In the rain interrupting day, del Potro played with better focus and he saved three out of five break points to keep the pressure on Hyeon who had a miserable day at the office, losing 55% of the points in his games and suffering five breaks from 10 opportunities he gave to Juan Martin.
Both players had 15 winners but the Argentinian tamed his shots in a more efficient way, staying on 19 unforced errors while Chung counted to 35, losing the edge to a better-ranked rival in the shortest points which cost him the match in the end.
The rain stopped the match after the very first deuce in the opening game and they returned to the court almost 50 minutes later to start all over. Hyeon got broken already in the second game when his forehand landed long and he sent a backhand long in game three to fall 3-0 down.
The Korean's game was far from its best and he was broken again in game four before pulling one break back after a double fault from del Potro in the next game, reducing the deficit to 4-1. The youngster saved a break point in game six with a service winner, holding after five deuces but finding himself 5-2 down when Delpo placed a backhand down the line winner in the seventh game to keep his lead alive.
Hyeon missed another backhand in game eight to lose serve for the third time and he had a lot of work to be done in set number two if he wanted to get back on the scoreboard. The start of the second set was promising, breaking Juan Martin in the opening game after a double fault from the Argentinian and saving two break points in game two for a 2-0 lead, his first of the match.
Delpo held in game three in under 70 seconds and he pulled the break back in game four after another poor backhand from Chung. Four service winners moved Delpo 3-2 up in game five in under a minute and he was on fire no,w earning another break a few minutes later when Hyeon's backhand finished beyond the baseline, taking a 4-2 advantage and looking good to seal the deal soon after that.
Juan Martin saved two break points in game seven and he crossed the finish line with three service winners in game nine for the place in the third round. Thursday's results: