World number two Novak Djokovic battled into the quarter-finals of the ATP Acapulco event on Wednesday, rallying for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Juan Martin del Potro.
The Serbian star led a parade of the top four seeds into the last eight, with second-seeded Rafael Nadal, number three Marin Cilic and fourth-seeded defending champion Dominic Thiem all advancing.
Top-seeded Djokovic, back in action this week for the first time since his shock second-round exit at the Australian Open in January, had to dig deep against former US Open champion del Potro after falling a break down in the third set.
He broke back immediately to level the set at 4-4 then held at love to pile the pressure on del Potro -- who fended off one match point with a service winner but couldn't hold off Djokovic on the next.
"Every match that I’ve played against delPo in the past couple of years has been very close, really enjoyable to play and great for the crowd to watch,” said Djokovic. "I am very happy and proud to win this match, even though I was close to losing when he was serving at 4-3 up in the third set.
"I just tried to get as many returns back in play as possible."
The Serbian advanced to a quarter-final clash with Australia's Nick Kyrgios, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over American Donald Young.