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They even gave del Potro a bit of a hard time when he had a couple of ball boys go wipe a wet spot near the baseline with white towels.

It was misty at the outset, and the humidity topped 80 percent, leaving both men’s shirts sopped with sweat.

Roddick came out the aggressor, looking for any opportunity to get to the net, and the volley he smacked to end the third game glanced off the 6-foot-6 del Potro’s right shoulder.

Not much later, Roddick nosed ahead, breaking for a 4-2 lead and shaking his right fist vigorously when del Potro flubbed a backhand into the net.

Roddick held for 5-2, saving a break point along the way and showing off quite a varied repertoire: an ace, a drop-shot winner, a backhand winner down the line and an inside-out forehand passing shot.

Seemingly in control, Roddick suddenly slowed, and del Potro finally began showing off the big, flat forehand that carried him past Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final.

Del Potro pounded one forehand so hard that Roddick shanked an attempted reply off his racket handle, sending the ball into the fourth row of the stands behind him.

It was a rough 15 minutes for the crowd favorite, who five times stood two points from claiming the set, but couldn’t get closer. When Roddick served for it at 5-3, he played a loose game, rolling his eyes after putting one backhand into the net, then sailing an approach shot long and rushing a forehand long. Del Potro broke there and eventually, as drops began to fall, they headed to the tiebreaker.

After only one point, an inside-out forehand winner by Roddick, chair umpire Carlos Bernardes stepped down to inspect the wet court and declared it unplayable. A few spectators booed. Roddick and del Potro sat in their changeover chairs for a few minutes, until being told the delay would be substantial enough that they could wait it out in the locker room.

Not much after that, they found out they would need to come back Wednesday, when the forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of rain.

Azarenka and Stosur needed to wait out a 75-minute delay in their first set, but at least they got done.

Stosur never had taken so much as a set off Azarenka in six previous tour meetings, including one match in qualifying. That changed in Tuesday’s second set, although forcing a third might not have given Stosur all that much self-belief. And in the end, Azarenka improved to 11-0 in three-setters this season, while Stosur fell to 9-7.

“I think I’m capable of beating her one day,” the seventh-seeded Stosur said. “Just would have liked it to have been today.”

Serving at 5-all in the third, Azarenka faced a break point and responded the best way possible, delivering a 92 mph ace, her only one of the match.

Asked about that at her news conference, Azarenka’s response was telling: “When did I hit an ace? Did I hit one today, actually?”

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