Del Potro passes early test unscathed

 

On the corresponding Monday 12 months ago Juan Martin del Potro was celebrating his rise to No 4 in the world rankings, having just overtaken Andy Murray. Yesterday the Argentine went on court in the Sydney International as the world No 259 in search of his first victory for nearly a year.

The win was duly delivered, Del Potro beating Feliciano Lopez 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, but of greater relief to the 2009 US Open champion was the fact that his right wrist had stood up to the challenge of playing a match that lasted three hours and 20 minutes. An injury to the wrist has troubled Del Potro since the autumn of 2009 and kept him off court for most of last year.

After reaching the fourth round of last year's Australian Open, when the injury was causing him increasing trouble, Del Potro did not appear again until Bangkok and Tokyo in the autumn. He lost at the first hurdle on both occasions and admits now that he tried to come back too early.

Now, having worked hard on his fitness, Del Potro feels ready to begin his climb back up the world rankings, although he admitted he had a long way to go before he approaches the form he had found before his injury.

"I worked very hard for two months in Argentina," Del Potro said. "My coaches trust in my conditions and I trust in myself, so I'm ready again to play long matches. I am still lower with my level. I need time. I need work to keep going on this road. It's a long road to be in the top 10 again, but I'm ready to try. I need matches and matches, practice and work. Maybe in four or six months I'll be ready to play good tennis again."

Del Potro, who is keen to have more time on court in preparation for next week's Australian Open, now plays Germany's Florian Mayer, a 7-5, 6-0 winner over Britain's James Ward, who received a wild card. Marcos Baghdatis, the defending champion and No 2 seed, has pulled out of the tournament with a groin strain.

Elena Baltacha, whose return to the court was delayed by flu, beat Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3, 6-3 in her first match of the year at the Hobart International. The British No 1 was due to play Italy's Roberta Vinci in the second round today.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine