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Beyond the Baseline

Juan Martin del Potro wins record-setting match

Juan Martin del Potro Juan Martin del Potro won his first match back from injury at the Erste Bank Open. (Helmut Fohringer/Landov)

Well, that's one way to announce your return.

In Juan Martin del Potro's first match back after taking a month off to deal with a left wrist injury, the lanky Argentine defeated German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) at the Erste Bank Open on Wednesday. The slugfest was the first best-of-three ATP match where both players hit at least 30 aces since the tour began keeping the stat in 1991. The match lasted just over three hours with neither man able to secure a service break, as Brands fired 32 aces to Del Potro's 30. This comes one week after John Isner beat Kevin Anderson 7-6 (3), 6-7 (8), 7-6 (7) at the Shanghai Masters in another match that featured no breaks of serve.

“If I knew this was going to happen before, I would have stayed at home for sure,” Del Potro joked. “But I played a nice match for my first round after a month without competition. He served really well every moment of the match. I served really well too.”

DelPo is making his final push of the season with Vienna, Basel and the Paris Masters in hopes of qualifying for the World Tour Finals. He's seventh in the Race To London rankings.

In other news out of Vienna, Donald Young, now ranked No. 187, scored his fifth win of the year, defeating the fifth-seeded Fabio Fognini 7-6 (8), 6-3 in the first round. Young wasn't so fortunate in the second round, where he fell short of getting his first back-to-back victories of the season with a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 6-3 loss to 89th-ranked Aljaz Bedene.

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