Former US Open champ Juan Martin del Potro won his first appearance on tour since February of last year today at Sydney, overcoming a still-sore wrist injury to defeat Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 7-6(4) at the Apia International Sydney.
He will tomorrow face No. 1 seed Fabio Fognini.
“It was a great moment for me,” Del Potro said. “I think I played well in my first match after 10 months. I served well. My forehand is still working out. So that’s a good signal for the future.”
The Argentine says his movement still needs work, but he hopes to make it through this week and compete at the Australian Open.
“I’ve been at home for a long time — really sad. To be honest, I didn’t expect this moment to be early in the season,” he said. “I’m so happy, so glad.”
Wednesday will be the first career meeting between the No. 338-ranked Del Potro and Fognini, who ended 2014 on a disastrous run, posting a 2-8 win-loss record from the US Open to the end of the year.
Fognini was a car crash generally in 2014, flipping off Shanghai fans with the middle finger, threatening an official in Madrid, spouting racist remarks at Hamburg, and at Wimbledon rolling out a slew of mis-adventures that resulted in $27,500 in fines.
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