© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Juan Martin del Potro wins his first clay-court match of 2019 by beating David Goffin Thursday in Rome.

Del Potro Dismisses Goffin In Rome

Argentine to face #NextGenATP Norwegian Ruud

It might be just the third tournament of 2019 for Argentine Juan Martin del Potro due to a right knee injury, but the 'Tower of Tandil' showed no rust on Thursday in his first match of the day at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Del Potro ousted 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up David Goffin 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round.

Del Potro broke the Belgian's serve four times in his one-hour, 18-minute victory, and he will face #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud,

Last week, in his first clay-court event of the season at the Mutua Madrid Open, Del Potro lost his opening match against Rio de Janeiro champion Laslo Djere. But the seventh seed was always in control against Goffin, losing just five first-serve points against the former World No. 7 while winning 73 per cent of his second-serve return points. 

Del Potro did well to not allow the 28-year-old to find any rhythm, capitalising on Goffin's errors and feeding off the packed crowd on Court 4. In his only other tournament of the year, Del Potro made the quarter-finals in Delray Beach.

Ruud advanced while leading Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-7(5), 2-1 as the Aussie was defaulted. The 20-year-old reached his first ATP Tour final earlier this year in Houston, also on red clay.

You May Also Like: Read & Watch: Like Father, Like Son: Casper Ruud Makes His Mark

Did You Know?
Entering their match in Rome, Goffin led Del Potro 3-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, with Del Potro's only previous win coming on an indoor hard court in Basel three years ago.