Murray makes late entry into Rotterdam
February 10, 2014 - 1:02:54 am
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands: Andy Murray will try and carry his winning Davis Cup momentum into the ATP winter indoor season when he plays as second seed at the Rotterdam World Tennis starting today.
The number eight Scot, who led Britain past the United States for a Davis Cup quarter-final place a week ago, will be seeded to face holder Juan Martin del Potro, after the top seed got a medical OK to play from his doctors.
The ATP number four won the trophy in 2013 after losing the 2012 final to Roger Federer.
Del Potro, a second-round loser at the Australian Open, travelled to the US to see wrist specialists after he began having pain.
Despite a confident face from tournament director Richard Krajicek about the appearance of the South American draw card, Del Potro’s presence was only completely assured by a medical statement from his camp.
“The wrist (recovery) evolved according to Doctor Richard Berger’s forecast. After a gradual return to full practice, Del Potro can confirm his participation in the Rotterdam tournament where he will defend the title,” the statement read.
The 2009 US Open winner has been bothered over the years by problems in both of his wrists and underwent surgery on his right one four years ago.
Del Potro opens at the Ahoy stadium against Frenchman Gael Monfils, while Murray begins his campaign with a first-round match against Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France with the Scot owning a 2-0 record in the series.
Murray took up a late wild card offer and his presence will go a long way towards easing the injury withdrawal of Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, who is missing with a thigh injury.
World number 11 Milos Raonic of Canada withdrew with the ankle injury which has plagued him since Melbourne and has now forced him from Davis Cup and ATP dates in Montpellier and Rotterdam.
The event features five top 10 players: Del Potro, Murray, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Murray won the Dutch title in 2009 over Rafael Nadal. He is playing here for the fourth time after first-round losses in 2008 and 2011.
“For the past week I’ve been in contact with Murray’s management,” said Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon champion.
“Because he had no tournament in the schedule between the Australian Open and Acapulco (February 24) it seemed like a good idea that he come to Rotterdam.”
German Tommy Haas, the number 12, takes the sixth seeding ahead of Mikhail Youzhny and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, a semi-finalist against Del Potro a year ago. REUTERS