Juan Martin Del Potro faces Richard Gasquet and the home crowd in Friday's quarter-finals at the Open 13 in Marseille.
It's a good job for Del Potro that he's in form right now as the fourth seed has been landed with the toughest of draws this week. After a first round bye he had to take on former nemesis Nikolay Davydenko in round two. The Russian went in believing he could pull off the upset after his near miss against Roger Federer in Rotterdam and may well have done before a foot injury forced him to retire with Del Potro just drawing level at 6-7(6), 6-4.
I’m getting confidence match by match," Del Potro said. "I made the final in Rotterdam playing good tennis, playing tough opponents. And here I have a really difficult draw, but I’m really glad to be playing this tournament for the first time. It’s a really nice tournament."
Gasquet produced a classy display, striking 10 aces to see off Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.
"I served well today and played good during the important moments," he said. "If I continue like this, I can go further in the tournament. I'm playing solidly and feel well this week. This is a great tournament and I always like coming back here."
Del Potro leads 2-1 on the head-to-head though they have not played for four years.