This city seems a sacred stage to Juan Martin del Potro, who in 2011 was crowned champion for the first time after the operation on his right hand and greeted him warmly this season with a surprising and unexpected victory after 11 months without playing official party.
Yesterday, the Argentine enjoyed a second victory, more personal and intimate, when he returned to the resort to train for an hour at the court 4. The anticipated before its presentation to Denis Kudla, who was removed with the strength and authority from the old days: “My goal is to try to play the first game, get to the hotel and say that I am able to train the next day, basically, be healthy and not suffer pain in the wrist.”
Under a sweltering sun, the rally quite normally with the young Jakub Wojcik, become habitual sparring during this tournament. No signs of pain, followed by adding minutes to give filming his punches, his physical condition and especially the backwards running carefully and will improve over time, “What is missing from my backhand and my game is being here, add minutes “he said in the press conference after his first match.
Tonight, again turn the main center court at 20 Delray Beach (22 in Argentina), Del Potro will have another chance to get used to the rhythm of the fundamental for improvement circuit. It is that his return is just another step in his recovery “. By raising the level of training, hand up the intensity and have to get used have to have patience.”
His opponent will be John Patrick Smith, 135th in the ATP ranking. The Australian left-hander, who began his career only at age 23, entered in the main draw from the qualifier, where he defeated Alejandro Falla and Andrey Rublev. In first round he starred one of the surprises of the tournament by eliminating the Croatian Ivo Karlovic, last champion.
Smith, in dialogue with the NATION, was described as an “aggressive seeking alternate the speed of my game, I put a lot of pressure and I am going to the network, but can also fight from the bottom ‘player. These virtues demonstrated against Karlovic, mainly, to which he replied with withering kick returns that surprised the champion of 2015 edition of Delray Beach.
Del Potro, 27, returned after eleven months out of the circuit and Smith, a player used to navigate between Challengers which aims to consolidate in the top 100 in the world, was complimentary of the Argentine after his performance last Tuesday: “I saw play well, turned and beat Kudla in straight sets, a player in the top sixty. That’s awesome. Get well, returns well, has great drive, it is a privilege to play with him. “
Still happy and surprised by their level against Kudla, Del Potro remained consistent with what had confessed before the first round victory: “The result of the next game is, as it was today (yesterday), the least of everything. I’m in the middle of the process of solving my problem with the back, I have to keep working to get it back. “
Fatigue played a key factor in the match between Del Potro and Smith. Del Potro, who for some passages of the second set against Kudla showed drowned, will face the need for a second game after more than a year without two games in a row. The Australian, however, must respond to another major challenge after facing the Bryan brothers at the end of this year, for the first round of the doubles.