LONDON: Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro overcame service troubles and Benoit Paire's fine serve-and-volley game to beat the Frenchman 6-4 7-6(4) 6-3 on Court Two and reach the Wimbledon fourth round for the fourth time on Saturday.
The big Argentine world number four, who has yet to drop a set, looked on for a routine win before meeting sterner resistance in the second set from Paire, who delighted the crowd with his drop shots and a break of serve to go 4-2 up.
Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, immediately broke back after a slip by Paire and fears he might have hurt his heavily bandaged knee, but the Frenchman resumed and saw the set through to the tiebreak, but lost it 7-4.
The 47th-ranked Paire, who reached the fourth round last year and won his only previous meeting with Del Potro in Rome in 2013, then had a rant at the umpire after a successful challenge to an out call.
"What are you doing, it was right on the line," he shouted evidently unimpressed with the umpire's calls.
Del Potro, looking for a second Grand Slam title after the U.S.
Open in 2009, marched into a 3-0 lead in the deciding set only to allow Paire back to 3-3 with a broken service game that included three double faults.
However, the Argentine, who had problems throughout the match serving into the sun at the northern end of the court, broke again and took it in straight sets.