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Last year’s runner-up and World No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro will square off against World No. 56 Jarkko Nieminen of Finland to secure his berth in the last four at the 2013 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, an ATP World Tour 500 Event, being played here in Rotterdam.
Last season, Del Potro was looking a great touch before he was handed over a straight sets defeat by Roger Federer in the Rotterdam final. This time, he is looking more determined and focused to get his hands over the coveted trophy. So far, Del Potro has done pretty well in this tournament, coming through a tough draw. In the opening encounter, he faced tricky opponent Gael Monfils, who could have tested him to a great extent but Del Potro made the most of his massive forehands to earn a straight sets 6-3 6-4 victory. He continued with the momentum and then earned a straight sets 7-6 6-3 win over the mercurial Ernests Gulbis. Often compared with the top trio of Djokovic, Federer and Murray – Del Potro is one of the most talented contenders on tour. He caught the attention of everyone by winning the 2009 US Open, when he snapped the winning streak of Swiss legend Roger Federer.
Del Potro’s opponent Jarkko Nieminen has been playing fine tennis of late. The Fin also made it to the semis in Montpellier last week. He registered a double bagel in the first round against Belgium's David Goffin and then beat qualifier Matthias Bachinger 6-3 5-7 6-3 on Thursday.
This will be a fourth-meeting between these two and Del Potro apparently leads the head-to-head with 3-0. Last time they met in the opening round of the Montreal Masters in 2011, where Del Potro topped the Fin in straight sets.
Nieminen will have to come up with something special today, if he wants to earn his maiden victory against the lanky Argentine.
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