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Del Potro takes on Murray

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Originally published on 02/06/17 00:00

In the second round, the former US Open champion made the headlines for the empathy and compassion he showed the injury-hit Nicolas Almagro, however, the Argentinian was also nursing a physical issue.

Del Potro ambled around the court in discomfort for much of his match with the Spaniard, and it remains doubtful that he would be to go the distance with the Brit.

“I think I got lucky,” admitted the 28-year-old after his match with Almagro. “I don't feel good enough with my body. I felt some pain, I didn't move well, and then Nico felt something wrong in his knee and decided to retire.

“Hopefully I can be in good shape [for the Murray match], because I'm feeling good with my game at this moment, but I need to be physically strong for the long rallies.”

The contrast in styles between Murray and Del Potro has led to some epic duels throughout the years – and their matches in the Olympics and Davis Cup will live long in the memory.

The top seed may still be struggling to find his groove, but he is bullish about his chances of reaching the second week. "I definitely feel like I'm capable of winning this match," said last year’s finalist. "Physically I pulled up well and felt good [after the Klizan match], so I will gain a lot of confidence from that."

The all-French affair between Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet will grab the attention of the locals. Both players have been besieged by injuries this year but the match is certain to be packed with flair, flamboyance and drama.

Other intriguing matches include Stan Wawrinka against Fabio Fognini and Kei Nishikori versus Hyeon Chung – a rare all-Asian tie – which has the potential to be a shotmaking festival.

In the women’s draw, Agnieszka Radwanska will attempt to subdue her opponent and the crowd in the opening match of the day on Philippe-Chatrier Court. Local favourite, Alizé Cornet, will seek to halt the Pole’s comeback, and reach the last 16 for a second time. Radwanska will start the contest as heavy favourite, though, as she has won seven of her eight previous encounters with the Frenchwoman.

Daria Kasatkina, who has never been beyond the third round of a Grand Slam, will provide Simona Halep with her next test.

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