The ASB Classic in Auckland will host some of the finest players from the ATP Tour between January 8-13, and it will be the tournament to watch before a great showdown in Melbourne in the next 2 weeks. After the organizers managed to sign the names like Roberto Bautista Agut, John Isner, Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov, Andrey Rublev, Hyeon Chung and Karen Khachanov, they announced yesterday that a four-time winner David Ferrer will also use the ASB Classic as the last preparation for the Australian Open. That wasn't all, though, as they had another big news coming upon on Monday morning, and a rather big one. World number 11 and 2009 Auckland champion, Juan Martin del Potro, decided to kick off his 2018 campaign at this tournament, making an already great field even more competitive.
8 years ago, young Argentine defeated Ernests Gulbis, Viktor Troicki, Robin Soderling and Sam Querrey to grab his 5th career title, and he will be one of the favorites to repeat that in 2018 too, considering the form he found since the US Open. Delpo played 12 ATP tournaments before New York and he won 18 matches in total, but the best was yet to come, advancing to the semi-final at the US Open, Shanghai and Basel, and winning the title in Stockholm. He closed the season with 20 wins in the last 25 matches and he will try to carry that momentum into the next season as well, setting his eyes on the Top 10 return for the first time since August 2014.
“I can’t wait to get back to Auckland. I have great memories from winning there in 2009. I had a late start this year after bringing the Davis Cup title to Argentina, so I am excited to start the 2018 season on a strong and healthy note. It will be the only tournament I play before Melbourne so it is very important for me and my preparation.”