Following a false start several months ago that forced him to go back under the knife, Juan Martin del Potro has officially announced that he will return to singles competition at the Miami Open, after paying doubles last week at Indian Wells. In his first match back on tour, Del Potro, who has fallen well past No. 600 on the tour, will come up against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. It will mark the first time that the two competitors will meet on the professional tour and could make for an enthralling encounter.
After spending most of 2014 on the sidelines, del Potro made his return to tennis 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.
Now, following a second surgery on his wrist, del Potro believes he is fit to resume professional competition, even if he does not have high hopes for his own performance at the tournament.
“I focus only on entering the court to play my first match,” del Potro told the ATP World Tour. “I do not care about the result yet, but to leave the court fully well physically.
“I think being here in this tournament energises me again,” said del Potro. “At times I feel a bit far in the rankings. I know I have a long way to go. When I was No. 4 in the world, everything was much easier. Even the objectives that I had were different.”
With just a 7-7 record in singles so far this season, Vasek Pospisil is playing far from his best tennis in 2015. His best performance so far this season was at the Aussie Open, where he reached the third round of the tournament. He most recently fell to Andy Murray in the second round of Indian Wells and will now be faced with another tricky draw in Miami, where he could be slotted against Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.
This is just the first time that del Potro and Pospisil will cross paths on the ATP World Tour. While both players are far from their best currently, it is del Potro who will be the worse for wear in this opening round given his injury layoff.
Prediction: Vasek Pospisil in Three Sets
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