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Del Potro set for Sydney return in 2011

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Originally published on: 08/12/10 11:04

Juan Martin Del Potro is set to make his comeback to tennis at the Medibank International in Sydney this January after almost a year on the sidelines.

The former US Open champion has picked up the first wildcard for the men’s event as he looks to prepare for the Australian Open.

Del Potro enjoyed a breakthrtough year in 2009, capping it off with victory over Roger Federer in the final of the US Open, making the final of the ATP World Tour Finals and reaching a career high singles ranking of world No.4.

A persistent wrist injury picked up shortly after his US Open triumph effectively wiped out Del Potro’s 2010 season. The Argentine played at the Australian Open after skipping the pre-tournament events before falling to semi-finalist Marin Cilic in the fourth round, but was not seen on court again until late September, when he made an abortive effort to return to action in Bangkok and Tokyo.

Del Potro has seen his ranking slip from No.4 in the world last January to No.257, but will still be a marquee draw for the Sydney tournament, who also confirmed on Wednesday that seven of the WTA top 10 women will play at Sydney Olympic Park from January 9-15 2011.

World No.6 and home hope Sam Stosur will be among the strong women’s field, as will world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, who is returning to the event for the third consecutive year.

Vera Zvonareva, Kim Clijsters, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka are all confirmed entrants, as are former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic and two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Defending champion Marcos Baghdatis will head the men’s field, with world No.18 Sam Querrey the highest-ranked male. Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon and Jarkko Niemenen are also Sydney-bound.

Australia’s Bernard Tomic, Jelena Dokic, Carsten Ball and Anastasia Rodionova will hope to join Del Potro on the wildcard list.

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