Juan Martin del Potro’s summer renaissance continued on Monday as the unseeded Argentine advanced into the U.S. Open quarter-finals when Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem quit their match with an injury.
Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open winner, whose career has been interrupted by a string of wrist surgeries and needed a wild card to get into the year’s last grand slam, has made the most of his opportunity by reaching the last eight without dropping a set.
The towering Argentine’s path was made a little easier when Thiem retired with an apparent knee injury trailing 6-3 3-2.
Del Potro will now play third seed Swiss Stan Wawwrinka who beat Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko in four sets.
In early women’s action on Monday, fifth-seeded Simona Halep beat 11th-seeded Spanish rival Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals.
The 24-year-old Romanian was broken serving for the match at 5-4 but she broke right back, and after falling behind 0-30 in the 11th game swept the last four points in a row to end it.
Halep, who reached the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows last year, edged ahead in her rivalry with Suarez Navarro, now leading their head-to-head series 6-5.
The in-form Halep, a three-time winner this year who owns a 23-3 record dating back to start of French Open, will play either top-seeded Serena Williams or unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the quarters.
The Romanian is bracing for a probable showdown with world number one Williams.
“The next round will be a very tough one, so I want to enjoy this victory today,” said Halep.
Results from the U.S. Open Men’s Singles Round 4 matches on Monday
3-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Illya Marchenko (Ukraine) 6-4 6-1 6-7(5) 6-3
Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) beat 8-Dominic Thiem (Austria) 6-3 3-2 (Thiem retired)
Results from the U.S. Open Women’s Singles Round 4 matches on Monday
10-Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) beat 6-Venus Williams (U.S.) 4-6 6-4 7-6(3)
5-Simona Halep (Romania) beat 11-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) 6-2 7-5