In less than a week Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro has gone from being stuck in an elevator prior to his first round match against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to playing for an Olympic gold medal.
Saturday afternoon Del Potro continued his surprising run through the men’s singles tournament, as he defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal in three sets. Winning 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (5), Del Potro will have a second Olympic medal to his credit as he took bronze in London four years ago. While Del Potro finished the match with 12 more unforced errors than Nadal with 43, he also had ten more winners (29-19) than the 2008 Olympic gold medalist.
Nadal will now look to add a bronze medal to the gold he won in men’s doubles with Marc Lopez Friday night, with Japan’s Kei Nishikori being the opposition.
As for Del Potro, he’ll face reigning Olympic champion Andy Murray in the gold medal match Sunday. The two nearly met in the gold medal match in those Olympics, but Del Potro’s loss to Roger Federer in the semifinal round prevented that from happening.
Bronze medals were awarded in the women’s singles and doubles competitions, with Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic defeating American Madison Keys in women’s singles and Czechs Lucie Safarova and Barbara Strycova taking bronze over countrywomen Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in women’s doubles.