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Del Potro leads 1st-round winners in Miami

Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina hoists his trophy after defeating Roger Federer, first seed, of Switzerland to win the men's title at the US Open Tennis Championship on September 14, 2009 in New York. Del Potro won 3-6,7-6,4-6,7-6,6-2. UPI /Monika Graff
Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina hoists his trophy after defeating Roger Federer, first seed, of Switzerland to win the men's title at the US Open Tennis Championship on September 14, 2009 in New York. Del Potro won 3-6,7-6,4-6,7-6,6-2. UPI /Monika Graff | License Photo

MIAMI, March 23 (UPI) -- Juan Martin del Potro was among the first-round winners Wednesday at the Sony Ericsson Open, winning for the 10th time in his last 11 matches.

Del Potro, once ranked among the Top 5 players in the world, improved his record this season to 18-5 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ricardo Mello of Brazil.

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The Argentine, who won the U.S. Open title in 2009 and captured the Delray Beach Championships in February, advances to a second-round match against the No. 29 seed, Phillip Kohlschreiber of Germany.

In other first-round action Wednesday, Xavier Malisse of Belgium eliminated American Ryan Sweeting 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 and Paolo Lorenzi of Italy beat Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 7-6 (9-6), 6-1.

South African Kevin Anderson dropped Russian Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-3, and Alex Bogomolov Jr. of the United States advanced to a second-round match with Andy Murray by beating Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

Marcel Granollers, Pablo Andujar, Julien Benneteau, Somdev Devvarman, Ivan Dodig, Marsel Ilhan and Mikhail Kukushkin won their first-round matches.

The 32 seeded players -- including Murray, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Robin Soderling -- received first-round byes.

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