Del Potro makes winning return in Florida
Juan Martin del Potro made a winning return to tennis on Tuesday after a 11-month injury layoff, romping past America’s Denis Kudla in straight sets in the first round of the Delray Beach Open.
The injury-plagued 27-year-old Argentine faced an uncertain future after missing most of the last year with a wrist problem which required two separate bouts of surgery.
But del Potro, aiming to resurrect a burgeoning career which included a 2009 US Open championship victory, showed no signs of ring rust as he overwhelmed Kudla in just over an hour.
Tuesday’s win carried an echo of a previous comeback for del Potro, who won the Delray Beach crown in 2011 also after returning from a wrist injury.
Del Potro, who climbed to number four in the world rankings in 2010, is currently at 1,042nd in the world.
In other matches on Tuesday, top seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa tumbled out to Austin Krajicek of the United States.
Anderson abandoned after losing the first set on a tie-break 7/3.
Second seed Bernard Tomic of Australia also bit the dust, beaten in straight sets 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 by unheralded American Rajeev Ram to the delight of the home fans.