October 9, 2015

Juan Martin Del Potro to have Surgery on Left Wrist Again

Del Potro in press 3

(June 15, 2015) Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro will have a third surgery on his left wrist.

Del Potro made the announcement about his surgery on his Twitter and in a YouTube video. The 26-year-old Argentine won the U. S. Open in 2009. He last played in a tournament in January in Sydney.



Pospisil Spoils Del Potro’s Return

88 Del Potro 3

(March 26, 2015) Returning to the court for the first time since January 15, Juan Martin del Potro‘s recent attempt at comeback from wrist surgery ended in a first round loss at the Miami Open on Thursday.

Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeated the Argentine, who is currently ranked No 616, 6-4, 7-6 (7).

For Pospisil, it’s his first-ever win at the Miami tournament.

Del Potro’s rustiness showed in the second set when he failed to serve it out up 5-4 and then squandered set points in the tiebreaker, double-faulting twice, which led to match point against him.

“Obviously down there I wanted to win the match, and I had few chances in the first set; then in the second set I know I have set points, but I couldn’t close the set because I had easy efforts and easy mistakes,” del Potro said.

“I didn’t serve well in the special moments, which is tough for me with all of these things.

“But now I’m okay. I don’t have any physical problem after the match, and I will be recovering soon for the future.”


“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said the Canadian in regard to taking on del Potro.

“That was a little bit added stress maybe before. But at the same time, I was just trying to focus on serving well and playing my game and trying to put pressure and coming to the net.”

“Whether he had pain or not, you know, it’s obviously not the same backhand that he normally plays,” Pospisil added. “I tried to take advantage of that by coming in and putting pressure on that side.

“But, you know, he’s still serving well and hitting his forehand huge, which made it tough. I just hung in there, you know, maybe got a little bit fortunate at the end. He was serving; had set point on his serve; but then the rest of the way I played well.”

The 2009 US Open Champion admitted that he still is not at 100 percent: “I’m not confident 100% to hit my best backhands yet.

“And I also need time to improve my backhand again. I already been hitting backhands the last 10 days in one year, which is very ‑‑ it’s very bad to play in this level.

“But I am working hard. I am working hard every day little more on my backhand. I think it’s the only way to get to pass through all of the things and get well for the future.”

“It’s just a wrist problem. Of course mentally you must be strongest enough to deal with the problem and get up every morning to do your treatments and rehab and stay calm, looking forward for the future.

“I’m not hurried to be in the top 10 very soon. I want to play tennis. It doesn’t matter how long it’s take me to be in the top again. Just wanted to play tennis and without pain.”

“It’s only 2 months after my second surgery and my left wrist. I feel better week by week, but it’s still very early to feel 100%.”

“It was like a Davis Cup atmosphere,”  said the 24-year-old Pospisil of the lively crowd cheering for his opponent. “I felt like I was playing away somewhere.

“It was a great atmosphere. Whether everyone is cheering for me or against me or if it’s equal, you know, when there is a big crowd and when they are into it, it’s always more enjoyable for everybody. I was enjoying it more, and actually might have helped me a little bit in the end, to be honest.”

The Canadian will take on No. 9 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.

As for the 26-year-old del Potro, he’s taking his comeback one day at a time: “I think it’s the most important be patient and stay calm, and also try to be positive.

“I got depressive for a while in the past. I have been talking with (Janko) Tipsarevic, as well, at the locker rooms. He knows a lot about the injuries, about comebacks, and doesn’t make it.

“But in the end, I want to play tennis. If I have to learn a different backhand to keep playing, I will do it.

“But now I’m trying to do all my things to fix the problem and hitting my backhand as I did in the whole ‑‑ all my career. I am still positive.

“I think is the biggest goal for me trying to keep trying and stay mentally strong enough to go through all of the injuries.”


Juan Martin del Potro Leads List of Wildcards into BNP Paribas Open


DelPotro 5 228

INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 4, 2015 – Former World No. 4 and Grand Slam Champion Juan Martin del Potro, Americans Tim Smyczek, Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla, Austin Krajicek, Nicole Gibbs, Taylor Townsend, Grace Min, Louisa Chirico, Sachia Vickery and Bethanie Mattek-Sands; and teenage rising star Donna Vekic were all granted wildcards into the main draws of the BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 9-22 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced today by Tournament Director Steve Simon.



Argentina’s del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open, reached the quarterfinals of Sydney this year, and is rebounding from left wrist surgery on January 19 of this year. This will be his first tournament since Sydney, and he has played in Indian Wells five times with his best result coming in 2013 when he reached the finals.



In addition, ten Americans have been granted wildcards into the main draws including Smyczek, who battled Rafael Nadal in a four-hour long, five-set second round match at the Australian Open in January, where he was lauded for allowing Nadal to replay a serve late in the match after a disruption from the crowd; Harrison, who reached a ranking of 43 in the world in 2012 and reached the semifinals in Acapulco last week; Kudla, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 90 last summer; Krajicek, who reached his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal in Memphis in February; Gibbs, who reached the third round of the US Open and quarterfinals at Seoul last year; Townsend, who reached the third round of last year’s French Open; Min, who reached the semifinals at Bad Gastein last year, and is currently at a career-high ranking on No. 97 in the world; Chirico, who has four ITF titles, two singles and two doubles; Vickery, who reached the second round of the 2013 US Open; and Mattek-Sands, who reached the third round at this year’s Australian Open in singles and captured the doubles title with Lucie Safarova.



One other international player receiving a wildcard into the main draw is 18-year old Croatian Vekic, who won the first WTA title of her career at Kuala Lumpur last season. The last women’s wildcard was awarded earlier this year to World No. 1 and two-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Serena Williams.



“This year’s BNP Paribas Open main draw wildcards add more depth to our already talented fields with Grand Slam Champions Juan Martin del Potro and Serena Williams,” said Simon. “They also provide young American stars like Ryan Harrison, Nicole Gibbs and Taylor Townsend, the opportunity to compete at the BNP Paribas Open.”



Qualifying wildcards were given to Americans Mackenzie McDonald, Taylor Fritz, Julia Boserup, Maria Sanchez, Tornado Black, Allie Kiick, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei and Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann.



McDonald is a 19-year old at UCLA who at Cincinnati in 2013 became the first unranked teenager to qualify for an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament since Sergio Casal (1995, Miami); 17-year-old San Diego resident Taylor Fritz advanced to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open Junior Championships this January; Boserup has captured two ITF singles titles in her career; Sanchez is a former USC standout and top-ranked collegiate singles player who turned pro in 2011; sixteen-year-old Black has already won two ITF singles titles and earned her highest career ranking in 2014; Kiick made her way inside the top 150 in 2014; Hsieh reached World No. 23 in 2013, making her the highest ranked Taiwanese female singles player ever, and captured the doubles title in 2014 at the BNP Paribas Open; and Hanfmann was No. 1 in both singles and doubles during the 2013-2014 USC tennis season, and helped his team to the 2014 NCAA Championship.



In addition to the aforementioned qualifying wildcards, the men’s and women’s winners of the BNP Paribas Open Challenge, the pre-qualifying event for the tournament taking place March 2-7, will also be granted a berth into the 2015 BNP Paribas Open qualifying draw, which starts March 9 for the women, and on March 10 for the men.


Juan Martin del Potro Undergoes Minor Surgery

(January 20, 2015) A media release from Juan Martin del Potro’s communications team, reports that the Argentine underwent minor surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic.


Juan Martin del Potro has undergone a minor surgery on his left wrist today at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to solve the problem of the pain caused by hitting the two-handed backhand.

The surgery, conducted by the team led by Richard Berger, was successful and Juan Martin is expected to begin rehabilitation in two weeks.

Del Potro also made an announcement on his Facebook page:
Juan Del Potro in Mayo Clinic

Hace unas horas estaba en Australia, hoy en la Clínica Mayo. Por recomendación de mi médico, me sometí a una pequeña cirugía para solucionar el problema que me causaba dolor en la muñeca. Hoy estoy con más ganas que nunca para volver a la cancha más temprano que tarde, jugar al tenis sin molestias y disfrutar del cariño de ustedes. Comenzaré la rehabilitación en dos semanas. Gracias por todo!!


A few hours ago I was in Australia, today at the Mayo Clinic. As recommended by my doctor, I underwent a minor surgery to fix the problem that caused me pain in the wrist. I feel more determined than ever to return to the courts sooner than later, to play tennis without feeling pain and to enjoy the love that you give me. I will begin rehabilitation in two weeks. Thanks!!



Juan Martin del Potro decided to come back to the ATP tour and play in Sydney and reached the semifinals, but withdrew from the Australian Open.

Del Potro played his last singles match before his first surgery on his left wrist on February 25th, 2014, when he was forced to retire against Somdev Devvarman in Dubai. He had surgery on March 24, 2014.


Related articles:

Juan Martin Del Potro to Have Surgery on His Left Wrist

Del Potro Gives Update on His Left Wrist Surgery Recovery 


Juan Martin Del Potro Withdraws From Australian Open

Del Potro in press 3

(January 17, 2015) Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from the Australian Open citing pain in his left wrist, the same wrist which was operated on which put him off the tour for 10 months. The 26-year-old Argentine had just returned to the tour last week in Sydney, where he reached the semifinals.

Here is the transcript of his news conference on Sunday when he announced his withdrawal:

Q. What happened in practice? What made you decide to pull out?JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, 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 and also for my physic. 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.Q. Did you feel a new pain or is it soreness?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It’s something similar. It’s been hurting the last couple of days and weeks. Nothing new. Nothing dangerous. But I think my wrist is not ready for play in this important tournament. I’m looking forward for the whole season. 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 decide for withdrawing here.


Q. How long do you think it will be before you play again?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I don’t know. I am still doing treatments. I will see the doctor again. I hope start playing again very, very soon in the United States tournaments. But he will say what could be good for my future. But I’m very positive. I really enjoying playing tennis again last week in Sydney, winning couple matches. I didn’t expect that, for sure. But that’s give me little bit of motivation for pass through this pain again. So I’m very exciting to come back again very soon and play without pain.


Q. How do you deal with it mentally? You are a big competitor. It’s been so long since you’ve been playing. There’s a new setback. Have you been reassured by your doctors that it’s not damaging or something?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Of course, is not easy. I’m sad pull out from this tournament. I was exciting to be here, playing in Grand Slam, a lot of people, meeting again the players. But I have to be smart and see more than my present now. I’m looking forward for my future, for my career. I have to do what the doctor says. I’m still positive. I want to play tennis. It doesn’t matter how. But after seeing my level in Sydney, I think if I in good shape and I’m healthy, without pain, I could be competitive again very soon.


Q. You’ve been told it’s possible to come back 100% by the medical staff?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, yes. I knew this situation, but I wanted to play anyway since Sydney. Was very positive for me see how I’m playing now. I win few matches. I beat one top-20 player in the world after one year. That’s means something good for me. I took all of the things for the future. Now is moment to stop for a while again, try to fix my problem, and then start thinking about new things, good things for the future. I need to stay positive and keep up the motivation for play again.


Q. You were supposed to play Janowicz. What do you think about his game?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: To be honest, I only thinking about me. He’s a great player, very aggressive player. But I don’t know what could happen with him or the rest of the player. I’m just looking on myself, and I want to be ready for play against them as soon as I can.


Q. Do you think you’ll have to change your style of play? Is there something about your game that gets you injured more often?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I don’t want to change my style. I don’t want to change my backhand, my technique. I’m trying to do the same as always. That’s what I trying to do with my doctor, as well. He’s behind me every day and looking forward for solve my problem. We are together in this situation. I trusting him a lot. I think in the future I will be playing free, without pain. Could be my big challenge for the moment, but if I feel without pain in the future, I will be very, very happy to get into the court again and play tennis for more years than what I am expecting now.


Q. When you came back last time after a year off with wrist problems, did you play with pain at first or were you pain-free immediately when you came back?



Q. No, last time.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It was the same. It was very, very similar. But this time I didn’t practice hard before Sydney. I only practiced like a month, but just serving, some forehands. My first hitting backhands was in Sydney. I’ve been practicing for 10 days in a row with three matches in the middle. For me was intensity matches, for sure. That’s why I’m taking this decision now because I don’t want to put in risk again my body, my wrist, and I want to play healthy. I saw last week, if I am in good shape, I could be a competitive player again. I’m very exciting for that. I’m positive. I want to do it. I want to do that again.


Q. Have you been given a timeframe, weeks or months, by the doctor?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. I will meet him very soon and then we will make a schedule, we’ll make a plan to be on court as soon as possible again.


Q. How much training have you been able to do? Do you know how long it will be before you can practice?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I can practice. I can practice and train. But if I couldn’t hit backhands like I want, it’s not helping a lot for my game. If I do that, could be a risk for my mind, for my body, for everything. Now is time to stop and see the doctor again and make a good plan for the future. I really want to play tennis as soon I can. I will do everything to do it. I’m still very positive. I really enjoy this sport. I enjoy last week in Sydney. I meet again all the players. I met the fans again. They are still very nice with me. So that’s gives me lots of motivation for come back without pain.


Q. Are you going back to Argentina to have more examinations?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, yes. I want to stay calm a few days, then see the doctor, see what’s going on with my plan.

The withdrawal of the 2009 US Open champion opens up a lucky loser spot in the draw for Japan’s Hiroki Moriya. He’ll face Jerzy Janowicz in the first round.


Del Potro’s announcement on his Facebook page:

Hola a todos. Como ya quizá sepan, no podré jugar el Abierto de Australia por los dolores en la mano. Es una pena que no pueda participar de un torneo tan importante, pero a la vez esto es un episodio más en el largo proceso de recuperación. Seguiré el consejo de mis médicos e intentaré volver lo antes posible. Les agradezco el apoyo que sentí desde que anuncié mi regreso en Sydney, fue increíble, y también en los últimos días. Gracias!


Hello everyone. As you may know, I will not play the Australian Open due to pain in my wrist. It’s a pity that I cannot take part in such an important tournament, yet this is another episode in the long way to recovery. I will follow the advice of my doctors and try to return as soon as possible. I appreciate the support that I received since I announced I was playing in Sydney, it was amazing, and also in the past few days. Thank You!


Defending Champion Del Potro out of the Apia International


By Dave Gertler

(January 15, 2015) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – After ousting former world No. 5 and defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro on Thursday, Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin will play another Argentinian – currently the highest ranked South American – Leonardo Mayer, for a place in the Apia International final against either Gilles Muller or Viktor Troicki.


Kukushkin needed two hours and two tie-breaks to beat Del Potro on Ken Rosewall Arena. Neither Del Potro nor Kukushkin was able to muster a break point against the other, and while the 2009 US Open champion briefly held the upper hand in the first tie-break, leading 4-2 at the change of sides, Kukushkin – who will contest his first ATP-level semi-final not on an indoor hard court in Russia – proved consistent at the right moments in both tie-breaks.


“It was a tough match,” I think he deserve to win because he played better than me in the tiebreak.” Del Potro – feeling more wrist pain than in his previous matches – was unable to fire off the backhand side, opting for a slice backhand most of the time, which allowed his opponent to dictate and be the aggressor. “I served well,” said Del Potro, “But my wrist hurts a little bit more than yesterday, and I couldn’t hit harder than my last match. He played very smart. He was all the time playing to my backhand and playing slices.”


“He’s a top player,” said Kukushkin about his opponent, “But I think everyone saw today that he cannot yet hit full power his backhand. He did a lot of slices. For sure this is affect his game. Still he serve good. His forehand was working OK today.” Kukushkin admitted exploiting current gaps in Del Potro’s arsenal was part of his game plan, saying, “I knew that right now his backhand not so good. Of course I tried to use it. Unfortunately, but I have to.”


Del Potro is excited to be returning to Melbourne for the Australian Open next week, his first grand slam appearance in 12 months. He is managing expectations on court, but doesn’t hide his enthusiasm to be rubbing shoulders with friends and other grand slam winners. “It’s not easy, but everybody has to know I’m 338th player in the world at the moment,” said Del Potro, “I just beat the top 20 player here, top 50, it’s great for these kind of players, so I’m happy for that. But I want to meet also Federer, Djokovic, these guys, because I miss them when I was at home. I only speak with WhatsApp or by phone. Now I will meet the biggest players of this sport again.”


Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .


Del Potro Usurps Top Seed Fognini in Sydney

By Dave Gertler

(January 14, 2015) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro has come from behind in his second-round match at the Apia International, to usurp top seed Italian Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday. The Argentine world No. 338 – who last year was ranked No. 5 in the world when he beat Bernard Tomic in the Sydney final – hadn’t played a match since Dubai in February 2014 before he faced his first-round opponent on Tuesday.


“I feel better on the court,” said Del Potro, “Especially in the end of the match. I serve well, I hit good forehands, and my backhands improved from yesterday to this match a little bit.”


On Wednesday, Del Potro faced an initial onslaught from world No. 18 Fognini who broke Del Potro twice in the first set, taking it 6-4. Del Potro found his range toward the end of the second set, again relying on his main weapons, his serve and forehand, to maintain pressure on Fognini’s game, breaking Fognini four more times to win the second and third sets 6-2, 6-2.


As far as adding his aggressive backhand back into his arsenal, Del Potro isn’t rushing anything, saying, “My game is serve strong and hit and try to make winners with my forehand. If my backhand is OK, I will be aggressive too with my backhand in the future. But now I think I have to put it on court, just to hit the ball as better I can, and don’t try to make winners with my backhand at this moment. I just need to play a lot of backhands during the point, and if I do that, I will get confidence very soon to play aggressive as well.”


A dip in form by the mercurial Fognini in the latter half of the match contributed to Del Potro’s from-behind win, but Del Potro’s serve and service percentage got better as the match wore on. In the second set, he only dropped one point behind his first serve, and in the final set his first serve percentage was 78%, winning 12 of 15 points behind it.


Del Potro will face Mikhail Kukushkin in the quarter-finals on Thursday, and indicated he would be physically ready. “My wrist is the same,” said Del Potro, “It’s not getting worse, so I have confidence with that. Of course I’m very happy to beat my first top 20 player on the year.”

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .


Successful Start to Del Potro’s Comeback in Sydney

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

By Dave Gertler

(January 13, 2015) For Juan Martin Del Potro, this was the successful return to competition after almost a year that everyone – except, perhaps, his first-round opponent at the Apia International, Sergiy Stakhovsky – was hoping for.


The shot most affected by his injury is Del Potro’s double-handed backhand, but the Argentinian 26-year-old possesses other weapons, namely one of the most powerful serves and deadly forehands on tour. Those were both on full display on Tuesday afternoon, when he denied Stakhovsky any break points on the way to a straight-sets 6-3, 7-6 victory that took 81 minutes.



“It was a great moment for me,” said an emotional Del Potro after the match, “I think I play well to be in my first match after ten months. I serve well.  My forehand is still working out. So that’s mean good signal for the future. I need to work very hard to my backhands and my movements, but I think now is time to think about my comeback and enjoying this moment a lot. I been at home for a long time really sad. To be honest, I didn’t expect this moment to be early in the season. I’m so happy, so glad.”



After the match Del Potro, who raised the Apia International winner’s trophy in 2014, raised both arms in a warmly-received celebration before collapsing to his chair and putting his towel over his head, apparently overwhelmed by the emotion.



“I enjoy the match, enjoying the atmosphere on there,” said Del Potro, “They are still Argentinian fans coming to watch me, which is very good for me. Obviously be the defending champion here means a lot. But I don’t have to think about that. Just try to be calm and go step by step, trying to go slowly. I know many people expect me playing like a top 10 very soon, but I will say to them that it takes a bit of time.”



Del Potro indicated his wrist felt better than he had expected, saying, “I will be ready to play tomorrow for sure. I will do treatment after here that take me like an hour every day. It’s supposed to be worse after intensive match like today, but I’m feeling well at the moment. I will see tonight and maybe tomorrow morning, but my doctor is behind me. He give me big confidence every day, so I’m still positive and I still want to play tennis.”



Hi opponent on Wednesday, top seed Fabio Fognini, has also struggled with his health recently in Perth, where he was sidelined from the Hopman Cup for at least one rubber with a heat-related illness. “Fabio is a great player,” said Del Potro, “He’s the No.1 seed. He is a friend of mine as well. So just try to play as I did today will be great for me. Obviously focus is on my wrist, trying to don’t get worse after tonight and after the match of tomorrow. If everything happens in the good way, I will be happy for this week.”



Clearly focussed on the long road back to full health, Del Potro assures, “I will be an aggressive player again very soon, but now it’s time to work on my physically and the treatment and the recoveries every day.”



Reflecting on his time away from the game, he said, “It’s been horrible for me. I spend a lot of time at home. I was watching tennis on TV. I think for all the players watching the big tournaments on TV is really, really bad. Supposed to be there playing with these guys, looking on trying to win a grand slam again. But I also have a big support of my family, of my friends. Because of them, I’m here now. They want me to still watching playing tennis. And I feel young, so I will try to play tennis as long as I can. Could be another start of my career after this match.”



Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

Stars Descend On Sydney for the Apia International

Julien Benneteau and Ken Rosewall at Sydney International draw ceremony

Julien Benneteau and Ken Rosewall at Sydney International draw ceremony

By Dave Gertler

(January 10, 2015) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Stars of the tennis world have been descending upon Sydney over the last days, while qualifying heats have been contested at the Apia International in Sydney. Last year’s women’s champion Tsvetana Pironkova, who qualified and won eight matches in a row at the 2014 Apia International, has had to navigate through qualifying again – albeit as top seed this year – and will make it into the main draw if she defeats American Nicole Gibbs on Sunday. Despite lifting her ranking from outside the top 100 a year ago to where it is now at No.37, that Pironkova still needed to qualify is testament to the depth of the women’s draw at this year’s event.

The tournament’s top seed Simona Halep will arrive in Sydney on Sunday, from Shenzhen, China where she won the tournament.
Petra Kvitova lost in the semi-finals of Shenzhen.
Caroline Wozniacki  arrived at Sydney Airport last night from Auckland, losing her Auckland final to Venus Williams.
Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska will complete the Apia International’s top four seeds when she arrives in Sydney from Perth, where she and Jerzy Janowicz – who will also feature strongly on the men’s side of the Sydney tournament – have won the Hopman Cup in an eventful final against USA’s John Isner and Serena Williams.

Janowicz will continue to be a headline act of Australia’s Summer of Tennis, as he plays young Australian giant-killer Nick Kyrgios in their first round match, which was allotted yesterday during a draw ceremony whose guests of honour included Ken Rosewall and Lesley Bowrey. 2005 Sydney finalist Sam Stosur, as well as 2012 Sydney finalist Julien Benneteau, were also in attendance for their respective WTA and ATP draw ceremonies.


While the men’s draw is less stacked than a women’s draw which boasts six top-10 players, Benneteau called the men’s draw, “Very compact,” saying, “Maybe there is not top 10 players, but from the top seeds to the end of the draw, there are tough players between 20, 30, 40, very good players, so I really think that anyone can win on Saturday.”

The men’s top two seeds, Fabio Fognini and David Goffin, will fly surprisingly under the radar at this tournament given that last year’s champion Juan Martin Del Potro, has chosen this event to stage his comeback from injury that has left him sidelined for almost a year. Del Potro flew in on Thursday night and has been using the days since to practice on Ken Rosewall Arena, with some light strapping on his wrist.


Ken Rosewall predicted a big year for the new Australian men’s No. 1, saying, “Because of his rapid improvement and his performance at Wimbledon and other senior events, there’ll be a lot of players who’ll be wanting to be in top form when they play against him. Hopefully Nick can remain physically clear without any problems, and he’ll be in good form. But I think there’ll be extra pressure on him this time to kind of stand up to being the number one player in Australia.”


At the women’s draw ceremony, Lesley Bowrey, winner of the French Open in 1964 and 1965, had some timely and compassionate words of wisdom for Sam Stosur, who is known for her struggles to win matches on home soil. “I just want to wish Sam all the best,” said Bowrey, “And just go out there and be free and easy, really, and not worry, as you say about everyone else, and what they’re telling you, just play your own game and do what you want to do.” Stosur has been drawn to face Lucie Safarova, the Czech world No.15 to whom she has lost their last six matches.


“Look, sometimes when I used to lead in matches, and I used to lose them too,” continued Bowrey, perhaps referring to Stosur’s loss last week in Brisbane to Varvara Lepchenko, after having a match point at 5-1 in the deciding set, “We all do that, it’s nothing new, you just have to find a way. What I used to do is just say, well, if I’m leading 5-1 or 5-2 or 5-3, I’d just tell myself I’m down that, and just take the pressure right off myself. That’s how I used to handle it, just tell myself I’m not leading, I’m down. Tennis is a tough game, it’s a tough sport.”

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .


Del Potro to Play Sydney

Del Potro smiles with racquet bag

(January 7, 2015) After his Tuesday afternoon practice session in Buenos Aires, Juan Martin del Potro decided to come back to the ATP tour and play in Sydney and the Australian Open, the Argentine’s management team announced on Wednesday.

“I missed the tour, I missed to compete. Those feelings outweigh the pain in the wrist, which comes and goes and prevented me from having the ideal pre-season training. I don’t expect great results. At this point I don’t care about the rankings. I take it as a reward for the effort that I put to return,” wrote the Olympic medalist on his Facebook account.

Del Potro played his last singles match on February 25th, 2014, when he was forced to retire against Somdev Devvarman in Dubai.

From Del Potro’s Facebook page:


Hola a todos!!! Quería contarles que decidimos viajar a jugar Sydney y el Abierto de Australia. Extrañaba mucho el circuito, extrañaba competir, extrañaba el contacto con ustedes en la cancha y eso pesa más en la decisión que las molestias en la mano, que van y vienen y no me dejaron tener la pretemporada ideal.

No espero grandes resultados, solamente volver a sentir la sensación de la competencia, la sensación de ser nuevamente un tenista activo, después de casi un año fuera. En este momento no me importa el ranking. La situación pasa por otro lado. Lo tomo como un premio al esfuerzo y las ganas que le puse para volver.

La experiencia de la lesión anterior me servirá para no sentir ansiedad en el regreso. Sigo los pasos que aconseja mi médico Richard Berger. Hay que tener paciencia.

Como escribí en un mensaje anterior, gracias por el apoyo en el camino del regreso. Saben que sin el aliento de ustedes, sumado a mi voluntad, al apoyo de mi equipo de trabajo, de mi familia y amigos, esto no sería posible.

Nos vemos en Australia!


Hello everyone!!! I wanted to tell you that we decided to travel to play Sydney and the Australian Open. I missed the tour, I missed to compete, I missed interacting with you on court and those feelings outweigh the pain in the wrist, which comes and goes and prevented me from having the ideal pre-season training.

I don’t expect great results, I just want to feel the competition, I want to feel an active player once again, nearly a year after my last match. At this point I don’t care about the rankings. The situation is different. I take it as a reward for the effort that I put to come back.

The experience of my previous injury will help me so as not to be too anxious. I follow what my doctor Richard Berger says. I have to be patient.

As I wrote in a previous post, thanks for your support on my way back! You know that without your love, my will, the support of my team, my family and friends, this would not be possible.

See you in Australia!