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Del Potro still on track for Delray Beach return: 'I know I have to go slowly'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 7 Feb 2019
  • Del Potro plans to return from injury at the Delray Beach Open
  • The Argentine hasn't played since October due to a fracture kneecap
  • The Delray Beach Open is live from February 18-24
Juan Martin del Potro (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

Juan Martin del Potro says he still plans to return to the ATP World Tour at the Delray Beach Open in two weeks time as he continues to recover from a fractured kneecap.

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Del Potro hasn’t played since retiring from the Shanghai Rolex Masters in October after injuring his knee in a fall during his match against Borna Coric, with the problem ultimately forcing him to withdraw from last month’s Australian Open.

The Argentine has used Delray Beach as the launching pad for his season twice in recent years, beginning his season at the ATP 250 tournament in 2016 and 2017 - and on both occasions, he made the semi-finals. Del Potro is aiming for a similar sort of comeback again in 2019.

"I know I have to go slowly and my plan is to practice a lot and play a couple of tournaments to allow me to get some rhythm," he told ESPN Argentina.
"I know it's going to be difficult. It is my first competition," he added. "I am going little by little but I have the desire to return to competition and the motivation to come back. I've done it before." 

Del Potro has been training in his native Argentina for the last month or so and on the weekend played an exhibition in his hometown of Tandil.



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Plagued by injuries since winning his one and only major title at the U.S. Open in 2009, including a series of wrist problems that have required four surgeries, del Potro put together his best season on tour in almost a decade in 2018, making the final of the U.S. Open and winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells.

Del Potro also captured the ATP 500 Acapulco title and qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in London for the first time since 2013, but his knee injury prevented him from participating.

Del Potro is set to be awarded a wildcard into Delray Beach and would be the top seed, ahead of Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic.

Nick Kyrgios and defending champion Frances Tiafoe are other notable names scheduled to play the ATP 250 tournament, which is live between February 18-24.


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Del Potro still on track for Delray Beach return: "I know I have to go slowly"

Juan Martin del Potro says he still plans to return to the ATP World Tour at the Delray Beach Open in two weeks time as he continues to recover from a fractured kneecap.

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