Del Potro ready for Mel­bourne de­spite Auck­land loss

The Freeman - - SPORTS -

AUCK­LAND— Juan Martin del Potro shrugged off his loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in the ATP Auck­land Clas­sic fi­nal on Satur­day and de­clared him­self ready for the Aus­tralian Open.

The Ar­gen­tinian dropped ev­ery serve in the first set as Bautista Agut, the 2016 Auck­land cham­pion, claimed his sec­ond ti­tle with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 vic­tory.

But del Potro, pro­jected to rise to 10 in the world rank­ings next week, said he was pleased with his per­for­mance as he fights his way back from wrist in­juries.

"It was a good start of the year for me. I didn't ex­pect to reach a fi­nal in my first tour­na­ment," said del Potro, the 2009 US Open cham­pion.

The 29-year-old's ca­reer has been hin­dered by in­jury and he most re­cently dam­aged his prob­lem left wrist in the Shang­hai Mas­ters three months ago.

"I played well and I'm look­ing for­ward to do­ing well in Mel­bourne. It's a big event for me, an­other Grand Slam which is amaz­ing af­ter all my wrist prob­lems," he said.

Del Potro is seeded 12th in the Aus­tralian Open with Bautista Agut 20th, but it was the Spa­niard who was in com­mand in Auck­land.

Un­like del Potro who had a tough semi­fi­nal against Spain's David Fer­rer, fel­low Spa­niard Bautista Agut had an eas­ier run through the tour­na­ment on the same side of the draw where first and third seeds Jack Sock and Sam Quer­rey lost in the early rounds.

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