Juan Martin del Potro is ready to compete again. The Argentine player is committed to the Delray Beach Open that starts on February 18. It will be the 30-year-old's first official appearance since the Rolex Shanghai Masters when he hurt his knee during a third round match against Borna Coric.
Interviewed by ESPN on Saturday following an open training session in Tandil, del Potro said: "It will be complicated, my first tournament after a long time, but I will go step by step. I achieved my career-high ranking (world No.
3) last year in one of the best seasons in my career. I managed to find consistency in the major tournaments playing a kind of tennis I had not played for a while. It will be very difficult to do the same, but I would like to keep surprising me.
I hope to feel comfortable without thinking about my knee, and then I can set some goals in terms of results, but I have to go through this process again, I am experienced in it and I keep being willingness.' Between February and March del Potro has to defend 1,860 points as result of his Acapulco and Indian Wells titles, Miami semifinals.
He is fourth in the rankings. On Andy Murray's possible retirement from tennis, he added: "For me and the majority of my colleagues, it was a sad moment. We live with niggles and injuries for most of the time and we try not to make people notice it.
Murray has been one of the best players in history, and knowing that he is suffering due to a hip injury is not nice at all. It touched me, obviously one day tennis will end, I hope he keeps fighting but without further damaging his body in order to enjoy life after all his successes in tennis.'
On the Next Generation trying to breakthrough, del Potro concluded: 'There are a lot of good players who will come to the highest positions, I think it's just a matter of time.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title