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Super Del Potro recaptures glory days to stun Stan

By Wayne Gardiner

Published 02/07/2016

Happy return: Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro celebrates beating fourth seed Stan Wawrinka at Wimbledon yesterday
Happy return: Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro celebrates beating fourth seed Stan Wawrinka at Wimbledon yesterday

Juan Martin del Potro is making the most of his second coming at Wimbledon.

Seven years have passed since he scalped Roger Federer at his peak in the US Open final - seven years of injury torment.

The Argentinian is back in SW19 and though not entirely free of the problems caused by a serious wrist injury, playing much like the man who stunned Federer in New York all those years ago.

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka was his victim yesterday, beaten 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7/2) 6-3, and as a word of warning for the rest of the field, Del Potro claims he may not be back to his best until 2017.

"I would like to be 100 per cent for the next season," said the world number 185 who on this form is a high-ranking seed in all but official status.

"As you can see, my backhand is not 100 per cent yet. I know how far I am from my high level. I've been working hard to be 100 per cent next season."

Del Potro was last on Centre Court in the 2013 semi-final against Novak Djokovic - his last outing at Wimbledon.

"It was great to come again," he said of beating Wawrinka on the main court.

"The crowd was unbelievable with me. The atmosphere on there was amazing. They have a respect for me. It's very nice just to be on the Centre Court of this magnificent tournament. Is great for all the players.

"I missed it a lot. Now I'm feeling so glad just to be playing tennis again. Of course, when you beat these guys, everything change in the good way.

"But I still need time to feel 100 per cent with my wrist. I'm excited to go far in this tournament."

Having been cooped up in the locker rooms for so long because of the rain, some players were particularly keen to make the most of being on court.

Number 10 seed Tomas Berdych rattled through his second-round match with Benjamin Becker in an hour and 24 minutes, winning 6-4 6-1 6-2, with 13 aces and 43 winners.

"It's really extremely tough in these conditions," said the Czech.

"So really there is no sense of looking ahead too far or anything like that. There will be another opponent which might be very tough, very difficult. That's all I need to be focused on."

Also in a hurry were Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille.

The former, seeded 12th, beat Juan Monaco 6-1 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 23 minutes, while Pouille took five minutes longer to see off Donald Young 6-4 6-3 6-3.

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