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Del Potro lines up Fish in Miami

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Originally published on: 28/03/11 09:52

Juan Martin del Potro continued to set a rapid pace in his march back towards the top of the game after swatting aside fourth-seed Robin Soderling 6-3 6-2 to reach the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

The Argentine, currently ranked at No.51 after rising 39 places after his semi-final showing in Indian Wells last week, dismantled the Swede without facing a single break point.

“It feels good. I played a really good match,” sad del Potro, who faced more of a test in his three-set third round clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

“I served much better than in the Kohlschreiber match, and that’s what I need if I want [to] beat Top 10 players,” del Potro added.

Soderling meanwhile, denied suggestions that he had underestimated the size of the task against the 2009 US Open champion, simply lamenting a poor showing.

“I’m always prepared for tough matches,” said Soderling. “I know anyone can be a danger. I have to play well every match to have a chance to win, which I didn’t do.”

Del Potro faces Mardy Fish in the fourth round. “It will be a special match because I know him,” said the Argentine. “He knows my game.  We’ve played many times against each other. And here in fourth round, every player is playing really well. So will be a nice match for both.”

Fish became one of just two Americans – along with John Isner – to reach the fourth round in Miami after Andy Roddick, James Blake, Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison were all felled early.

Twenty-nine-year-old Fish, could replace Andy Roddick as the top-ranked American male should he pass del Potro and go on to reach the semi-finals at Crandon Park.

Roddick won the title in Key Biscayne last year, but after tumbling to Pablo Cuevas in his opener this year, the 2003 US Open champion is projected to tumble to around No.15 – Fish’s current ranking – after the Miami tournament.

But Fish professes that even if he did rise above his friend and compatriot, he would still consider Roddick to be the American No.1.

“To be honest, it would be only the number next to my name,” said the Tampa native. “I certainly wouldn’t feel like the top-ranked American considering what Andy has accomplished and what I have accomplished.”

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