Former champion del Potro roars into second round
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro looms as a danger man at the U.S. Open after barreling into the second round in straight sets over fellow Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday.
Plagued by a serious wrist injury that handicapped him since his rousing five-set win over Roger Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final, del Potro returned to form at the Rio Olympics, where he reached the finals before falling to Andy Murray.
The 6-foot-6 (1.98 m) Argentine backed up his impressive Rio run by rifling in 11 aces in eliminating Schwartzman, claiming the third-set tiebreaker 7-3.
"I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years," said del Potro, who was given a wild card to join the main draw and said he was lifted by the crowd support.
"Always, in every match here at the U.S. Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmosphere down there."
Del Potro said he was still feeling the effects of his efforts in Rio, where he ousted world number one Novak Djokovic in the first round and number five Rafa Nadal in the semi-finals before losing to second-ranked Murray in four sets in the final.
"To be honest, I'm still feeling tired," said del Potro.
"It's not easy after a big, big challenge like I did in Rio. But this tournament is very special for me. I'm trying to keep calm, to keep focused, and look forward to go far. Continued...