02 May - 23:56

Del Potro clinches first triumph in Estoril

Juan Martin Del Potro made a winning return to the Portuguese clay by defeating Yuichi Sugita 6-1, 6-3 in his debut match in Millennium Estoril Open.

The Argentinian broke early and never trailed against his Japanese opponent to seal the straight set win in just 80 minutes.

Returning to Portugal where he has enjoyed great success in the past – Del Potro won in Jamor twice in 2011 and 2012 – the “Tower of Tandil” took full advantage of his serve and forehand to dictate de points and seal his first clay court win of the year.

Sugita, who arrived in Estoril at a career-high 73.ºATP after reaching the quarter-finals in Barcelona, was unable to dent Del Potro's sturdy service games and missed the sole break point he had all match. The fifth seed struck eight aces and said he felt surprisingly solid in is first outing in the dirt: “I felt better than I expected. My forehand was strong and I was able to strike many winners. For my first match in the clay after a year I think I did a good job. I can still improve my backhand. Today I played a lot with the slice but in this surface it’s not an advantage.”, said Del Potro in the press conference after the match.

The 28-year-old Del Potro will next face American Ryan Harrison, who defeated Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 in Court Cascais