Juan Martin Del Potro Making His Way Back at the Delray Beach Open
(February 18, 2019) DELRAY BEACH, Florida – The World No. 4, Juan Martin del Potro has been down this road before, making a comeback from an injury – making a return at the Delray Beach Open. He did it back in 2016 and now after fracturing his patella in his right knee last October at the Shanghai Masters, he’s back in Delray Beach to start his 2019 season.
“I thought that was the final [match] of my life,” the 30-year-old Argentine said in regard to his last match in Shanghai, in his Monday news conference. “I got the fracture in the knee that I never expected to have.”
“I know I will need a little bit of time to get confidence in my body and my game. But I’m excited to be playing again so Delray Beach is a good tournament to start at.”
Still, del Potro talked about all of the great memories he’s had from this tournament as he gets ready to play Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round on Tuesday. “I love to come back and play in this event. And I have a lot of Argentina fans coming to watch my game in this tournament, so it’s a little bit special to me.”
“I’m ready to play a match again,” said del Potro.
“I know I will need a little bit of time to get confidence in my body and my game. I’m not feeling that I’m a hundred percent yet. But some day I have to start to play and we decided to do it here in Delray Beach because I have good memories from the past, so hopefully I do well.”
Last year’s champion Frances Tiafoe of the United States, also held court, talking to media on Monday. Tiafoe defeated his idol del Potro last year at this event for his first-ever Top 10 win and went on to win the tournament, for his first ATP World tour title. They have been practicing together at the tournament.
Del Potro had nothing but good things to say about Tiafoe and thinks that the young American who recently reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open: “has everything to be in the top positions” soon.
Tiafoe admitted that as a huge fan of the 2008 U.S. Open winner, it’s funny hitting with him and spending time with him.
— Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN) February 18, 2019
Tiafoe comes into the tournament at a career-high No. 29 ranking. He’ll open his title defense against Great Britain’s Dan Evans on Tuesday.
— Chad (@CCSMOOTH13) February 19, 2019
In play on Monday night, Nick Kyrgios needed 19 aces and three sets beat Australian countryman John Millman 6-4, 6-7(1), 7-6(3).
Delray Beach Open – Other First Round Results
Denis Istomin d. Feliciano Lopez 7-6, 6-2
Lukas Lacko d. Yosuke Watanuki 6-4, 6-4
Lloyd Harris d. Darian King 7-6, 6-3
Tuesday February 19, 2019
Order of Play on the Stadium Court
Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
vs. Taylor Fritz (USA) 
Not Before 12:30 P.M.
Steve Johnson (USA) 
Jason Jung (TPE)
Not Before 2:30 P.M.
Peter Polansky (CAN)
John Isner (USA) 
Not Before 6:00 P.M.
Daniel Evans (GBR)
Frances Tiafoe (USA) 
Not Before 8:00 P.M.
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) [1}
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)