Del Potro focusing on fitness after opening Roland Garros win

Del Potro recovered from a set down against Chilean Nicolas Jarry to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 and set up a clash with Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. — Reuters pic
Del Potro recovered from a set down against Chilean Nicolas Jarry to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 and set up a clash with Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. — Reuters pic

PARIS, May 28 — Juan Martin del Potro said his “main goal” at Roland Garros is still to regain full fitness following a recent injury absence, after reaching the French Open second round today.

The Argentinian eighth seed recovered from a set down against Chilean Nicolas Jarry to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 and set up a clash with Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

The former US Open champion only returned to action after a knee injury earlier this month, but has looked in strong form, reaching the Italian Open quarter-finals before losing to world number one Novak Djokovic despite holding match points.

“I think I’m playing well at the moment, but my main goal is still the knee, my health,” said Del Potro.

“And I’m looking forward to being 100 per cent in the second part of the year, trying to change my goals on tour and if I get that, I will be happy.

“Once I get in good shape again, I can be focused on the results in different tournaments, different surface(s).”

Del Potro reached the semi-finals in Paris last year before a defeat by eventual champion Rafael Nadal, but played down his chances of going further this time around.

“I’m in a period of transition, rehabilitation of my knee and reaching perfect health and trying to focus again on tennis and results,” he added.

The 30-year-old, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2018 US Open final, has now won 33 consecutive Grand Slam first-round matches dating back to 2007. — AFP

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