Del Potro guns down defending champ
Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro gave his chances of making the year-end Tennis Masters Cup a boost by beating defending champion David Nalbandian at the Madrid Masters on Thursday.
Twenty-year-old Del Potro, who has won four singles titles this year, was too good for countryman Nalbandian during his 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Madrid Masters photo gallery, Day 5
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Del Potro is one of a group of players chasing the final four places in the ATPs eight-man season-ending championships, which take place in Shanghai, China, from 9 November. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have already secured qualification.
Del Potro began the week in eighth place in the ATP Race and his passage into the last eight in Madrid will do his chances of a ticket to Shanghai no harm.
Fourth seed Murray followed the Argentine into the quarters with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6 win over Croat Marin Cilic.
The Britons reward is a quarter-final clash with explosive Frenchman Gael Monfils, who shocked eighth seeded American Andy Roddick 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Del Potros next test will be against either Federer or Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The first man through to the quarters was another Frenchman, Gilles Simon, who saved two match points before recovering to beat American Robby Ginepri 6-7, 6-4, 7-6.
The 23-year-old was down 6-4 in the deciding breaker before hitting back to take it 8-6 he saved another four match points against Russian Igor Andreev in the first round on Monday.
Simon is another player in with a shout of making it to Shanghai his quarter-final points will take him up to 11th place in the Race.
Players have four more events to gain enough points to qualify – Basel, Lyon, St Petersburg and the Paris Masters.
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