But the 30-year-old Argentine doesn’t have his hopes pinned on winning his second Masters 1000 title and fifth clay-court crown this week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Del Potro, still on the comeback after fracturing his right kneecap in October, is merely eager for more matches.
“To be honest, I’m not looking for a good result of the tournament. I just want to feel good on court, and that will be my best moment of this tournament. Doesn’t matter if I win right now because I’m starting to play again,” Del Potro said on Sunday during his pre-tournament press conference.
“If I play good, if I play another match and I close the match in good shape, it will be great for me.”
Del Potro played in only his second tournament of the year last week at the Mutua Madrid Open, the season’s second clay-court Masters 1000 event. The Argentine fell to Rio Open presented by Claro champion Laslo Djere of Serbia in three sets in his opener.
“I have a tough draw. So I’m supposed to play with Stan or Goffin in the first round, which is a really difficult match,” Del Potro said with a smirk.
“I’m feeling good. My game is improving after couple of days of hard training. That’s what I need to get back in my high level as soon as possible. Rome will be another good test to see how my body feels on court and playing in the match.”
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Although his rehab has taken longer than he thought – Del Potro made his season debut in February at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com – he is optimistic about his continued improvement.
“The only thing that all the players want to do is just play tennis. I wasn’t available to do that,” Del Potro said.
“I was really sad trying to fix the knee problem. It took a little bit longer than the doctor said. But now I’m having the chance to play another tournament. I’m feeling little bit better than Madrid… I’m ready to try once again.”