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Del Potro takes nothing for granted

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Originally published on: 06/05/12 00:00

Juan Martin del Potro has some way to go to rescale the heights he reached with his US Open triumph three years ago, but for the moment the 23-year-old Argentinian is just happy to be playing at the top level again.

Del Potro returned to the tour last year after missing the best part of a year with a serious wrist injury. “The first thing is that I'm playing this sport,” he said. “I love this sport, and hopefully I’ll be healthy for many, many years.”

The world No.12 won the 11th title of his career last week in Estoril,  successfully defending the tournament he won last year with victory over Richard Gasquet. Since making his comeback he has also won tournaments in Delray Beach and most recently in Marseille. Although he has not beaten any of the current top four since making his return, he has recorded victories this year over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych.

Del Potro said the worst part of his time away from the game had been when doctors were initially unable to diagnose the injury. “I saw so many doctors,” he said. “All of them said different things. It's tough to find a way to fix the wrist when the doctors, when the wrist specialists, don't know what's happened with your hand.”

However, Del Potro always tried to stay positive and eventually had an operation to fix the problem. “After the surgery I recovered well,” he said. “Now I'm playing all the surfaces and I'm glad just to be playing this sport again.”

Del Potro has been unfortunate to run into Roger Federer – the man he beat in the final at Flushing Meadows in 2009 – four times this year, in Melbourne, Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells. The Argentinian has lost on each occasion, but believes that matches against the top players can only help his comeback. “It doesn't matter if you lose or if you win, you just try to take good things for the next matches,” he said.

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