Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Del Potro early exit from Thailand Open 2010

NONTHABURI, Thailand (AP)—Juan Martin del Potro’s return from an eight-month injury layoff ended in a 7-6 (7), 6-4 loss to Olivier Rochus at the Thailand Open on Tuesday. The 2009 U.S. Open champion hasn’t played since the Australian Open in January.

He withdrew from several tournaments before having surgery on his right wrist in May. “I played a good match,” Del Potro said. “I had my chances in the first-set tiebreak and he played some great points. I’m just happy to be back on the circuit, and I hope I get better and better.” Rochus, who is a foot shorter than the 6-foot-6 Del Potro, was solid from the baseline and used a strong counter-attacking game against an erratic opponent.

Del Potro faced set point at 6-5, 30-40, but he blasted three successive aces to force the tiebreaker. The Argentine fought back from 3-0 down to earn a set point following a backhand winner. Rochus used a sharp backhand to tie it 6-6, and a powerful forehand wrapped up the first set.

Del Potro took a 2-0 lead in the second set, but unforced errors cost him the next three games. Trailing 5-3, Del Potro took risks with big shots to save two match points. But Rochus sealed victory in the next game when the Argentine’s backhand sailed wide.

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