By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) – If you’re playing in your last tournament, then hope to avoid Juan Martin Del Potro, who beat Julien Benneteau 6-4 6-3 6-2 in the local favorite’s final match at Roland Garros on Thursday to reach the French Open third round.
Del Potro ended American Andy Roddick’s career at the 2012 U.S. Open and that of Russian Marat Safin in the Paris Masters in 2009.
The Argentine served well and played neatly throughout to subdue Benneteau, who achieved his best result at a Grand Slam when he reached the French Open quarter-finals in 2006.
Del Potro, whose career has been hampered by injuries, withdrew from this month’s Rome Masters with a groin problem, sparking fears about his prospects in Paris.
The dangerman in the top half of the draw, fifth seed Del Potro, playing in the tournament for the first time since 2012, next faces Spanish 31st seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
The 36-year-old Benneteau, who will retire at the end of the season, played the French Open 16 times between 2002 and 2018.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, Editing by Ed Osmond)