World No. 11 Juan Martin Del Potro opened his 2012 campaign with a victory as the former US Open champion is into the third round of ATP Sydney following a convincing victory over Lukasz Kubot of Poland.
Del Potro took an hour and a half to defeat Kubot in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) and as a result, the Argentine will likely face Marcos Baghdatis in the Sydney quarters. Baghdatis, at time of writing, had not yet booked his own spot in the quarters, but most expect him to beat his second round opponent, Matthew Ebden of Australia.
Del Potro and Baghdatis met in an early-round match last season at the 2011 Australian Open, a match that Baghdatis won. That match took place at a time when Del Potro was coming back from injury. The Argentine, whether he faces Baghdatis or Ebden, will likely be favored in the Sydney quarters.
While Del Potro—the top seed in the 250 level event—is through to the quarters in Sydney, there was an upset in the draw.
Second-seeded John Isner fell in the second round to qualifier Bobby Reynolds. That result does eliminate a major title threat from the draw in Sydney as many felt that Isner was the second favorite for the Sydney title behind Del Potro.
The ATP Sydney event is part of the buildup to the 2012 Australian Open, a tournament which will start on Monday, Jan. 16th with the draw being released on Friday, Jan. 13th.
Del Potro is considered to be the fifth favorite for the title with most sportsbooks, like bet365.