Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, who suffered an early exit from last month's Australian Open, got back on track Wednesday with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 first-round victory over France's Gael Monfils at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
The 25-year-old top seed and defending champion of this Dutch indoor hard-court event had a hiccup in the early portion of his match against Monfils, dropping his serve when trying to wrap up the first set before going on to win it in a tiebreaker.
The Argentine then grabbed an early service break in the second set en route to a workmanlike victory over Monfils, who was fresh off winning his fifth career title Sunday in Montpellier, France.
Del Potro, who has undergone treatment for a left wrist injury since being stunned in the second round of the Australian Open by Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, said afterward that he was feeling better.
"My left wrist is getting better," Del Potro said. "It's improving day by day. I think I played 50 per cent slices. For the next match I will try to play more my regular backhand. I don't feel pain at the moment, which is good. I will do my treatment now and hopefully be better for tomorrow."
Next up for the Argentine in second-round action Thursday will be Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, a 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 winner over Croatia's Ivan Dodig.
In other results Wednesday in Rotterdam, second-seeded Andy Murray of Scotland cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 first-round victory over France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin, and fifth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was upset by Croatia's Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4 in the second round. EFE