Friday, October 19, 2018 | ePaper
Del Potro ready for Melbourne despite Auckland loss
Juan Martin del Potro shrugged off his loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in the ATP Auckland Classic final on Saturday and declared himself ready for the Australian Open.
The Argentinian dropped every serve in the first set as Bautista Agut, the 2016 Auckland champion, claimed his second title with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 victory.
But del Potro, projected to rise to 10 in the world rankings next week, said he was pleased with his performance as he fights his way back from wrist injuries. "It was a good start of the year for me. I didn't expect to reach a final in my first tournament," said del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion.
The 29-year-old's career has been hindered by injury and he most recently damaged his problem left wrist in the Shanghai Masters three months ago.
"I played well and I'm looking forward to doing well in Melbourne. It's a big event for me, another Grand Slam which is amazing after all my wrist problems," he said.
Del Potro is seeded 12th in the Australian Open with Bautista Agut 20th, but it was the Spaniard who was in command in Auckland.
Unlike del Potro who had a tough semi-final against Spain's David Ferrer, fellow Spaniard Bautista Agut had an easier run through the tournament on the same side of the draw where first and third seeds Jack Sock and Sam Querrey lost in the early rounds.