After being forced to return to the sidelines after just one tournament back on the tour, Juan Martin del Potro is confident that he will return to professional competition in late March.
Speaking at a Davis Cup press conference ahead of the Argentina vs. Brazil tie, Del Potro explained that the recovery stage has gone by quicker than he anticipated, and that he motivated to regain his ranking.
“I’m in full recovery. It’s going faster than planned, and I’m excited. I’ll come back in the coming weeks. I really want to get back in the same conditions as the other players. I don’t want to give them any ‘advantage.’ I came here this week to add to the experience to my team. The first goal about ranking will be to come back in the top 100 and keep me there. Obviously, I want to get back into the top-10.”
The Argentine made his return to tennis for the first time since February 2014 last week in Sydney. While few expected much, he managed to reach the quarter-final round at the Apia Sydney International, where he was the defending champion. He defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky and followed up with a three-set win over Fabio Fognini before losing to Mikhail Kukushkin the following round. However, he withdrew from the Australian Open soon afterwards and was under the knife just a few days later.
While Del Potro expects to compete in singles competition in Miami, he has signed up for doubles competition alongside fellow injured star Marin Cilic at Indian Wells. It was a low-key way to gauge their recovery.
“I talked with Marin Cilic, who is injured himself. We signed for the doubles tournament in Indian Wells, and we will see if we can go back. Even Novak Djokovic supported me. My realistic goal is to return at Miami. This is the beginning of the return. It’s very hard to live with injuries.”