Juan Martin Del Potro continued his return to tennis earlier today in Tokyo. And to put it nicely, it didn’t go well. The former US Open champion managed just three games in a disappointing 6-3, 6-0 loss to Feliciano Lopez in the first round at Tokyo.
“It is difficult to come back and play against these players, especially Feliciano on such a fast court,” said Delpo. “I need time, I need to work on a few things to get back to my best level. If I work in a good way, I will be in good shape in a month or so.”
And for the most part he’s right. It’s going to take time and matches. But he shouldn’t be getting routed the way he did even against a player like Lopez.
Delpo who falls to 0-2 in his comeback (0-4 in sets) travels to Shanghai next week.
Also in Tokyo, Ernests Gulbis was knocked out by Dmitry Tursunov 6-3, 6-4.
Today, top seed Rafael Nadal is in action against Colombian Santiago Giraldo. Andy Roddick is also on the schedule against local wildcard and JW Tsonga makes his long-awaited return from a knee injury.
In Beijing, Tomas Berdych and Fernando Verdasco both flamed out early. Berdych was upset by qualifier Michael Berrer in three sets. Verdasco, who hasn’t been to an ATP semifinal since May, lost to Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-4.
I think it’s safe to say both guys may be gassed at this point in the season. But both still have some work to do to qualify for the year-end Masters in London.
“I am still No. 8, here I don’t lose any points,” said Verdasco. “I think that it is more important next week in Shanghai, firstly because it is a Masters 1000, and secondly, because for the entry I lost last year in first round. So I just hope to have a good week now to practice, and I will try my best to be in my best shape in Shanghai and get all the points I can there to try to stay inside the eight best players to be in London.”
Other winners were John Isner and Mardy Fish, while Sam Querrey lost to Gilles Simon.
Looking ahead to Tuesday, the schedule features Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling.
And when you include Tokyo, five of the top six players are competing today, so it’s going to be a busy week of tennis.
At the women’s Beijing event today, Ana Ivanovic beat Marion Bartoli while her rival Jelena Jankovic continued to slide losing to fellow-Serb 18-year-old Bojana Jovanaski.
Vera Zvonareva also beat Dinara Safina and Angelique Kerber upset Agnieska Radwanska whose season could be finished after suffering a foot injury.
Today, Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva are in second round play. Top seed Caroline Wozniacki plays Wednesday. The Dane is just four sets from a World No. 1 ranking!
TOKYO TUESDAY SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 10:00 am
 A Morita (JPN) vs C Vandeweghe (USA) – WTA
Not Before 12:00 PM
[WC] T Ito (JPN) vs  A Roddick (USA) – ATP
Not Before 2:00 PM
[WC] K Nishikori (JPN) vs V Troicki (SRB) – ATP
 R Nadal (ESP) vs S Giraldo (COL) – ATP
J Nieminen (FIN) vs  J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP
COURT 1 start 10:00 am
[WC] A Nakamura (JPN) vs  A Brianti (ITA) – WTA
Not Before 12:00 Noon
 M Llodra (FRA) vs M Chiudinelli (SUI) – ATP
R Gasquet (FRA) vs T de Bakker (NED) – ATP
 G Monfils (FRA) vs [WC] G Soeda (JPN) – ATP
 J Melzer (AUT) vs J Monaco (ARG) – ATP
BEIJING TUESDAY SCHEDULE
LOTUS COURT start 12:30 pm
[Q] P Mathieu (FRA) vs  A Murray (GBR) – ATP
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs [WC] M Gong (CHN) – ATP
 M Sharapova (RUS) vs E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 7:30 PM
A Kleybanova (RUS) vs  N Li (CHN) – WTA
 N Davydenko (RUS) vs F Mayer (GER) – ATP
MOON COURT start 12:00 noon
A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs M Baghdatis (CYP) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM
K Date Krumm (JPN) vs  E Dementieva (RUS) – WTA
A Petkovic (GER) vs  V Zvonareva (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 7:30 PM
T Robredo (ESP) vs  R Soderling (SWE) – ATP
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