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Gonzalez defeats Haas to advance at DC

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:43

Gonzalez will play second-seeded and defending champion Juan Martin del Potro, who advanced after Robin Soderling withdrew before their quarterfinal with a right elbow injury.

Top-seeded Andy Roddick will play Ivo Karlovic and John Isner will face No. 8-seeded Tomas Berdych in the evening quarterfinals.

Tied at 5-all in the first set, Gonzalez angled a forehand past the charging Haas for the first break point of the match. He then had three forehand winners in his own service game to close out the set.

“Both of us played really good tennis in the beginning,” said Gonzalez, who is playing in his first event since Wimbledon due to right knee tendinitis. “I only had one break point and I did it. That gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the match.”

Gonzalez broke serve to open the second set and again to go up 5-2 against a clearly frustrated Haas. A Wimbledon semifinalist this year, Haas broke back and then held his serve to get to 5-4. But the 11th-ranked Gonzalez rebounded and put away an overhead smash to win the match. He improved to 5-0 in quarterfinals this year.

“He made two mistakes in the first game (of the second set) and I took advantage,” said Gonzalez, who reached the finals in Washington in 2003.

For his part, del Potro is hoping the day off following a lengthy third-round match will help him earn his first career victory against Gonzalez.

“I’ve lost to him three times in my career and I hope I can get my first win (Saturday),” said the sixth-ranked Argentine, who has picked up five tournament titles since their last head-to-head match in 2007.

“He’s a different player now,” said del Potro. “He’s one of the new generation and he’s had really good results the past year. But, it’s better to have a positive record when you (next) meet.”

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