Read & Watch: Delpo Breaks Argentine Records
The Argentine set a few more records on the hallowed turf of SW19 with a 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Frenchman Benoit Paire on Saturday.
The fifth seed reached the Round of 16 for the fourth time after two hours and 24 minutes, breaking a tie with David Nalbandian for most fourth-round appearances by an Argentine. Del Potro also overtook Nalbandian, in two further national categories, moving ahead of the 2002 finalist into second place for most Grand Slam match wins (87) while also breaking the record for most Wimbledon match victories (20).
"Benoit is a good player. He's dangerous most of the time," said Del Potro. "I had luck in the tiebreak because I played little better than him. I took the second set. Then in the third one I played solid in the important moments of the set. That was the key."
The 2013 semi-finalist fired 32 winners and converted five of 12 break points en route to victory, denying Paire a second consecutive appearance in the Round of 16 at The All England Club. In 2017, the Frenchman reached the fourth round for the first time, losing in straight sets to two-time champion Andy Murray.
"[Before the tournament] I had a tear in the meniscus," revealed Paire. "That's why I [had heavy strapping]... I was not sure [if I would be able] to play. Finally after two days I was feeling nothing... I have zero pain and I can play like normal. I just put the tape on for security every day."
Del Potro will meet 2015 quarter-finalist Gilles Simon for a place in the quarter-finals. Simon defeated Libema Open semi-finalist Matthew Ebden, for the first time in in three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(2).
The Frenchman hit 42 winners and saved seven of eight break points to advance after two hours and 50 minutes. Del Potro leads Simon 4-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, which includes wins in each of their three previous encounters on grass.
"Simon is a very smart player. He likes to be solid from the baseline. He likes to play long rallies all the time. I will try to be aggressive, play short points, come in often to the net, and play my game," said Del Potro.
Did You Know?
Juan Martin del Potro is yet to lose a set at Wimbledon this year. The No. 5 seed also won his opening two matches in straight sets, beating Peter Gojowczyk of Germany and 2017 Fever-Tree Championships titlist Feliciano Lopez.