Nursing an ailing left wrist, defending champion Juan Martin del Potro returns to action Wednesday in Rotterdam. The Argentine who revealed last month that his left wrist led to a quick exit at the Australian Open, meets the hot-handed Gael Monfils.
“I had played well in Sydney, but when I got to Melbourne the surface was faster and the balls were different,” said del Potro. “I started to feel something wrong at the beginning of the tournament [against Rhyne Williams]. After my five-set match against [Roberto] Bautista Agut, that is when I sought advice from my doctor.”
Under advisement from his doctor in Rochester, Minn, del Potro has already started treatment.
“Wrist is improving day by day. Dr. Berger is hopeful that my wrist will recover very fast. It is improving slowly, but at least it is improving,” he said.
“This year, I am trying to find a different treatment to fix the injury, to ensure that I can play the whole season.
“I am positive. I would like to remain in the Top 5 and potentially rise into the Top 3. It will be difficult to pass Rafa, Djokovic and Wawrinka, particularly after his recent Australian Open win. But I’m not the only one in the Top 10 who has a lot of points to defend.
“I hope to do well in the Grand Slams and, at the end of the season, be close to the Top 3. Wawrinka took his chance and he got it. I want to again.”
The Frenchman Monfils, however, has only lost to one player all year, twice Rafael Nadal. Monfils just won the Montpellier title on Sunday.
Andy Murray is also in action. The Scot will meet Roger-Vasselin.
“I quite fancied playing a tournament before going to Acapulco,” Murray said. “I like the tournament, it is close to London and [as] I don’t have many [Emirates ATP Rankings] points to defend over the next few weeks, it was an opportunity to improve my ranking and to get back on a match court again.
“It is important for me to challenge my body just now, to see how good it is,” he said. “I obviously played my first five set matches in Australia, then in the Davis Cup. In those events you have a day off between matches, but if I play well this week I will be competing a few days in a row. The next month or two, I will still be learning about my body. But so far it has been good.”
Following back surgery last September, Murray lost in the second round in Doha, then fell to Roger Federer in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open. Last weekend he led Great Britain to a win over the USA.
This week he opted to take a wildcard into Rotterdam.
“When I played Federer in the [Australian Open] quarterfinals that was a bit of a shock to the system,” Murray admitted. “The Australian Open may have been a little bit too soon, but I wasn’t far off. My body was stiff and sore after the match.”
Also on Wednesday, Tommy Haas battles Fernando Verdasco and Marin Cilic continues his comeback against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Earlier today Grigor Dimitrov and Jerzy Janowicz were both winners. Dimitrov will now play Ernests Gulbis on Thursday.
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