After 10 months off the tour recovering from a left wrist injury, Juan Martin del Potro makes his long-awaited returning tonight in Sydney against Sergiy Stakhovsky.
The former US Open champion isn’t expecting big things after missing so much time, and he says he still feels pain the wrist.
“[The wrist] hurts a little bit,” del Potro said. “It bothers me sometimes when I hit backhands but I am trying to hit harder because I need to hit harder if I want to play this tournament. Sometimes the pain is high, sometimes it is low.”
“It’s much better than [it was] three or four weeks ago and the doctor says that I can’t make it worse by playing at a high level, so I am very positive for that. I need to do a lot of treatment every day. I do a long warmup before practice and matches, which takes a lot of time. That is my life at the moment.
“It will be a big challenge to play this tournament and see if I can start the season healthy and play for the whole year.”
Del Potro won his last title, the 18th of his career, a year ago in Sydney defeating Bernard Tomic. The Argentine has been sidelined since late February 2014 when he retired in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. He underwent left wrist surgery on March 24.
“It was horrible to watch all the tournaments on TV and see how open it was in the grand slams. It’s good for tennis but it was sad for me because I was ready and prepared.”
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