The season-opening Grand Slam is set to begin on Monday afternoon in Melbourne, but not for Juan Martin del Potro, who was forced to withdraw from the event with his persistent wrist injury.
Speaking to media members in Melbourne, the Argentine explained that he wanted to be smart and didn’t want to risk another major injury.
“I didn’t feel prepared for playing in this big event. My first Grand Slam after one year, five-set matches, is very tough. Could be dangerous for my wrist…. I think it was a tough decision, but could be a smart decision if I want to stay healthy and play for the whole year.”
“It’s been hurting the last couple of days and weeks. Nothing new… It’s tough to say this, but I’m still positive and I want to play tennis as I did last week. That’s why I have decided to withdraw.”
While few expected much from his return to court, Juan Martin del Potro 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.
Although he was unable to defend his title, the ‘Tower of Tandil’ was convinced he did better than he anticipated.
“I did more than what I expected,” said del Potro. “I played three matches in a row and I played against good players in this tournament, which means a good comeback for me.”
No timetable has been set for his return.