Vienna, Austria (Sports Network) - Last year's runner-up Juan Martin del Potro was a hard-fought second-round winner Wednesday at the Erste Bank Open.
The top-seeded del Potro outlasted German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (8-6) on the indoor hardcourts at Wiener Stadthalle. The big-serving, 3-hour, 5-minute battle featured 32 aces by Brands and 30 more by the big man from Argentina.
The former U.S. Open champion del Potro was last year's Vienna runner- up to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who decided not to defend his title this week.
Also in the second round, Luxembourg's Gilles Muller took out fourth-seeded Austrian crowd favorite Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4). The struggling Melzer was the back-to-back Vienna titlist in 2009 and 2010.
In opening-round action on Day 3, American Donald Young upset fifth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 and Austrian wild card Dominic Thiem defeated Poland's Lukas Lacko 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
The newest Vienna champion will pocket $113,795.