Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro put an end to the speculation on Saturday, confirming that he won’t be defending his US Open title in NYC this year. Via USOpen.org:
“I feel extremely sad to announce that I will not to be able to defend my US Open title,” said the 21-year-old del Potro. “Winning in New York last year has been my major accomplishment in tennis and my best memory so far. I am so sorry for my fans, my sponsors and all the people that care about me, but I have only started practicing in the last two weeks and unfortunately I cannot compete at the top level yet. I look forward to returning to New York in 2011 and wish all the best to the tournament organizers and my fellow players.”
Last month Del Potro was listed on the tournament’s provisional entry list and USTA officials were sure he was on the fast track to recovery after undergoing surgery to his right wrist in May. Many of us (who me?) were pretty excited at the prospect of seeing the big hitting Argentine back on court for the first time since Melbourne. Unfortunately, it’s not to be. According to CBS Sports, Del Potro is only the third man in the Open Era who won’t attempt a title defense at the US Open. At least he’s in good company, the other two men being Ken Rosewall in 1971 and Pete Sampras in 2003.
Add me to the extremely sad list, as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tommy Haas join Del Potro, Serena Williams and Justine Henin on the list of stars who won’t be playing in New York City this year. Croatians Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic are also out.
The question now: Who’s next? Isner, Sharapova, Clijsters, Ivanovic, Venus and Stosur have all been on the gimpy list lately. No more, I say! And the tennis gods laugh. . .
The US Open draw comes out on Thursday, August 26 at noon, Eastern. The ceremony will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and streamed via ESPN3.com. Men’s and women’s first round matches begin on Monday, August 30 at 11:00am.