Delray Beach Open – Del Potro Wins In Comeback, Defending Champion Frances Tiafoe Ousted in First Round
(February 19, 2019) The world No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro made his return from a knee injury a winning one. At the Delray Beach Open on Tuesday, the Argentine stopped Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 7-5 in the evening session. Del Potro had been sidelined with a knee injury since October.
“It was a tough first round [match],” del Potro said. “He’s a smart player, very steady from the baseline and he’s very fast as well.”
“I played well in specific moments of the match,” del Potro added.
“I need to keep working on my legs because I was tired at end of the second set, but that’s normal, nothing strange. I‘ll see how I feel tomorrow when I wake up, and then if I’m OK I’ll come for practice and be ready for my next round.”
Del Potro will have a tough challenge in the next round when he takes on Reilly Opelka. Opelka who defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-0 is fresh off of his first ATP World Tour tournament win at the New York Open.
Defending champion and third seed Frances Tiafoe was serving for the match at 6-3, 6-5, 30-love and could not close out the match. The American had a 4-1 lead in the decider, but Britain’s Dan Evans came back to beat Tiafoe 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-5.
“I definitely shouldn’t have lost tonight,” Tiafoe said.
The American told media that he rushed the big points and it was a disappointing way to start off a season.
Evans said that he refused to give up when he was down.
Other Americans fared well on Tuesday – No. 2 seed John Isner beat Peter Polansky 6-3, 7-6(4), and Mackenzie McDonald upset No. 7 seed Taylor Fritz.