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Del Potro: It’s a gift to be back at the O2

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Originally published on: 03/11/12 00:00

The 24-year-old Argentine, who also featured in the Masters Cup in 2008 when the year-end event was held in Shanghai, returned to the top eight for the first time in two years this August after a long road back from a wrist injury and says he’s delighted to be back amongst the elite field at the season-closing ATP showdown.

“It’s a pleasure to be part of the eight players. An honour,” said del Potro. “There are big, big names playing this week. To be here is like a gift after tough months after my wrist injury. I would like to enjoy the week, play good tennis and do my best.”

Drawn in Group B at the O2 Arena alongside David Ferrer, Janko Tipsarevic and six-time champion Roger Federer, del Potro added that he will approach the group with renewed confidence on the back of his recent form. The world No.8 won back-to-back titles in Vienna and Basel in October, beating Federer in the latter for the first time since the Round Robin stages of the 2009 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

“It was really nice for me,” admitted the world No.8. “After tough losses to Federer this year, basically at the Olympics when he beat me, to beat him in a big match in Basel to get my 13th title was really nice, really big for me.

“I’m looking forward to this tournament after that victory, maybe I can do the same [again].”

Group B clashes kick-off on Tuesday, with Group A taking centre stage on Monday as Andy Murray takes on Tomas Berdych in the afternoon session and Novak Djokovic faces last year's runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the evening.

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