LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) - Latvian Ernests Gulbis deprived Wimbledon of a sequel to one of the best men’s singles matches in recent years when he knocked out Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro on Thursday.
A high-octane clash between Del Potro and three-times champion Novak Djokovic looked likely in the third round, stoking memories of their epic 2013 semi-final, but Latvian Gulbis had other ideas. He won 6-4 6-4 7-6(3).
Gulbis has struggled with shoulder and wrist injuries since reaching the 2014 French Open semi-finals, losing to Djokovic, and dropped to 589 in the world rankings on Monday.
Arriving at Wimbledon on a protected ranking of 99, Gulbis had won only two matches all year at any level.
But he backed up his first-round win over Victor Estrella Burgos, in which he dropped four games, with a superb performance against 29th seed Del Potro, another player plagued with injuries in recent years. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Louise Ireland)