Del Potro blanks out memories of 2009
Originally published on: 02/03/12 12:26
As Juan Martin del Potro edges closer to the form that took him to the US Open title three years ago, the Argentinian has revealed a key part of his mental approach to the game following his return from a serious wrist injury. To avoid worrying about whether he is playing as well as he did in winning the title at Flushing Meadows, Del Potro tries not to watch video re-runs of his triumph there.
When he was asked at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Championships whether he kept thinking how much he wanted to recapture his US Open title-winning form, del Potro replied with a smile: “No, no. If I don’t see videos of 2009, I don’t remember how I played there.
“But after my injury it was like coming back with a new life or a new tennis game. I was 500 [in the world rankings] and all the others players had still been playing, had still been working for a year, while I had completely stopped and was at home. But I’m in the top 10 at this moment, getting closer every day, and I think I’m playing well.”
Dubai is del Potro’s fifth tournament of the year. He reached the quarter-finals in Sydney and Melbourne, losing to Marcos Baghdatis and Roger Federer respectively, and made the finals in the indoor tournaments in Rotterdam and Marseille. He lost to Federer in Rotterdam but beat Michael Llodra in Marseille to claim the tenth title of his career.
In the past Del Potro has usually played in the United States following the Australian Open, but he chose this year to compete on the European indoor circuit. “I think I made a good choice because I already made two finals,” he said. “I think I’m also improving my game indoors. I’d never won a title [indoors] until last week, so that means very important things for the future.”