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Del Potro gets win in return to ATP Tour in Sydney

Del Potro gets win in return to ATP Tour in Sydney

Posted by Juan Gavasa on January 14, 2015

Juan Martin del Potro continued his promising return from an 11-month injury layoff by beating top-seeded Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Sydney International.

The former fourth-ranked player from Argentina needed a wild-card entry to get into the main draw because his world ranking had dropped to 338 during his lengthy absence.

Second-seeded David Goffin of Belgium also lost, falling to Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-3, 6-3, while Bernard Tomic of Australia defeated third-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 6-4.

Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, needed treatment from the courtside trainer during the first set. He has said he still has wrist pain and his injury constrains his two-handed backhand.

The Argentine's quarterfinal opponent will be Kazakhstan qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin, who beat sixth-seeded Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 7-5.

Del Potro had not played on the ATP Tour since Feb. 24, 2014, when he retired from his match against India's Somdev Devvarman in Dubai.

His retirement from the match in Dubai prompted Del Potro to consult specialists and undergo surgery.

Dr. Richard Berger operated on the Argentine star's left wrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, last March. Del Potro initially expected to return to action at the Brisbane International, but he pulled out of the tournament.

The Argentine won the title in Sydney last year with a victory over Australia's Bernard Tomic in the final.

Sydney will be Del Potro's only preparation for the Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam event, which starts on Jan. 19.

Del Potro, who won his lone Grand Slam title at the 2009 U.S. Open, missed nearly the entire 2010 season with a right wrist injury.

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